A state Senate committee announced yesterday it will investigate Seattle’s Sound Transit for misleading the public about the impact of Sound Transit 3 and its tax package.
According to King 5 News, State Sens. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, and Dino Rossi, R-Sammamish, called for an investigation last week, claiming Sound Transit tried to use an outdated method to calculate car-tab fees, wasn’t clear on how long the project was authorized, and “meddled” in the ballot initiative. They asked either the Senate Transportation Committee or the Law and Justice Committee to hold hearings on the issue.
Sound Transit responded with a statement saying there is “no validity” to the allegations and that the organization was transparent about the cost and impact throughout the campaign process.
Voters last fall approved the $54 billion ST3 tax package that will pay to expand mass transit in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties with light rail, commuter rail, and bus connections.
Rossi and O’Ban are using comments made by House Transportation Committee chairwoman Judy Clibborn as a basis for calling for an investigation. They say Clibborn said to members of the press that said lawmakers might not have signed off on the Sound Transit 3 proposal in 2015 if they knew it was for a package totaling $54 billion, as Sound Transit had only requested authorization for $15 billion during public testimony.
Clibborn’s response is that her comment is being used out of context and that the investigation is a Republican effort to “take down” Sound Transit.