I haven’t yet had the time to study Dino Rossi’s newly unveiled transportation “plan,” but one element immediately leaped out at me:
Rossi proposed funding high-occupancy-vehicle projects on the Eastside by tapping Sound Transit money that would otherwise be used mainly to build a light-rail line from downtown Bellevue to Seattle.
Of course, such a proposal may have a certain appeal to Rossi’s anti-rail constituency, but if he really wants to be governor I suggest he put down those Discovery Institute and Washington Policy Center briefing papers, and take a little time reading the state Constitution:
ARTICLE XI, SECTION 12: ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF TAXES IN MUNICIPALITIES.
The legislature shall have no power to impose taxes upon counties, cities, towns or other municipal corporations, or upon the inhabitants or property thereof, for county, city, town, or other municipal purposes, but may, by general laws, vest in the corporate authorities thereof, the power to assess and collect taxes for such purposes.
Um, see Dino, Sound Transit is a local government with local taxing authority, and the state simply cannot direct it how to use its revenue or its surplus. Local voters authorized ST to raise this money for a specific purpose, and only local voters can redirect these funds. Who is your legal adviser… Tim Eyman?
Promising to do something and having the legal authority to do something are two different things.