Voters approving ST3 measure to expand mass transit

Voters are approving higher taxes for more mass transit.

The $54 billion Sound Transit3 measure had 55 percent (413,769 votes) in favor and 45 percent (338,049) against in results from King, Snohomish and Pierce counties on Tuesday night.

For Kent, the measure will extend light rail from Angle Lake in SeaTac to South 272nd Street in Kent by 2024. Voters already approved funding in the 2008 ST2 package for a station to be built at Kent/Des Moines near Pacific Highway South and South 240th Street. That station also will be scheduled to open in 2024, a year later than under the ST2 measure.

The new measure also expands the length and number of Sounder trains that stop in downtown Kent for commutes to Seattle.

With approval, ST3 starting next year boosts property taxes by $25 per $100,000 of assessed value; ups the vehicle tab fee by $80 per $10,000 of vehicle value and increases the sales tax another 50 cents on a $100 purchase. The typical adult in the transit district will pay about $169 a year in new taxes to pay for ST3.

King County voters are carrying ST3 to victory with 59 percent (298,089) in favor and 41 percent (210,838) against. Snohomish County voters were approving the measure 52-48 percent. Pierce County voters were rejecting ST3, with 55 percent against it. But the measure doesn’t need to pass in each county for approval as long as the overall vote is in favor.

Kent’s city leaders were split about the measure. The City Council didn’t take a stand on ST3 and Mayor Suzette Cooke didn’t come out in favor or against it. The Kent Chamber of Commerce didn’t recommend a vote in favor or against.

Sound Transit will add 62 mile of light rail over the next 25 years. People will be able to take light rail between Tacoma and Everett and east to Bellevue.


(King, Pierce and Snohomish counties)

Approved: 413,769 (55.04 percent)

Rejected: 338,049 (44.96 percent)