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7/11/2016



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit: $53.8 billion expansion plan would cost locals $169 a year


The cost of implementing various tax increases proposed under the Sound Transit 3 expansion plan would cost Seattle-area voters about $169 a year, or $14 per month, the agency announced late last week.

Photo: Sound Transit

The figure is 17 percent less than Sound Transit's earlier projections, agency officials said in a press release. The decrease is the result of a "more precise calculation" that uses median values, or the amounts at which 50 percent of people would pay more and 50 percent would pay less.

Previously, the calculation for the motor vehicle excise tax used average vehicle values based on information that was readily available in early 2015. Using a median value "cancels the disproportionate impact of the relatively small number of people that own very expensive vehicles," Sound Transit officials said.

In addition, for both the motor vehicle excise and property taxes, the new calculation considers a typical adult who lives within the precise boundaries of the Sound Transit taxing district, instead of the entire three-county area.

The district includes the most populated areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in Washington state. This includes the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett.

If approved by voters in November, ST3 would increase motor vehicle excise, property and sales taxes to fund $53.8 billion worth of public transportation projects, including constructing 62 miles of light rail.



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