By Vic Bishop
The proposed Regional Proposition 1 (ST3) is a $54 Billion tax-and-spend proposal that would have a long lasting and huge negative impact on the finances of the city of Renton and our region.
ST3 is way out of the realm of reasonableness. It buys trains for Seattle at 10 times the cost of the second Panama Canal. For perspective, I have compared the city of Renton’s current annual budget for transportation to the pro-rated share of East King Subarea’s $9.8 billion that would be paid annually by residents, including those in Renton.
The city of Renton has a robust system for identifying transportation needs in the city. The current budget has about $18 million of transportation programs and projects per year. Most of that is for capital expenditures for street improvements on the roadways, sidewalks, bike lanes and transit ways.
Sound Transit’s ST3 proposal is a train project to satisfy politicians. It will do nothing to relieve traffic in Renton or anywhere in East King Co.
The Sound Transit district is divided into five sub-areas, with Renton in the East King Subarea which is projected to generate $9.8 Billion in 25 years. There are 16 cities within the East King subarea with a total population of 585,000. Based on population, Renton will generate about $68 Million per year from the city’s residents and businesses toward ST3’s gigantic tax.
Traffic congestion is an item often mentioned as a problem in discussions of city issues. Renton residents are stuck in traffic, and they know it.
Thus, traffic congestion is a top issue in Renton and Sound Transit asks you to tax yourselves a huge amount to help Seattle pay for their second train tunnel plus light rail extensions to Everett, Tacoma and Issaquah.
In their 2014 “Transportation 2040” update, PSRC calculates a projected 0.4 percent of the regions’ daily person trips will take light rail in 2040.
ST3 is a bad deal for Renton and all of East King County.
Go to www.nost3.org for more information and the tax calculator to estimate your household taxes.