Please, please, Democrats, remember that the Seattle Times editorial board simply cannot be taken seriously:
In a nod to the populous Pierce, King and Snohomish counties, the package also includes authority for Sound Transit to ask voters for up to an estimated $11 billion in new taxes to expand the light-rail system. Advocates say that amount falls $4 million short of their request. This is a time for everyone to compromise.
Oh god, where to start? First, maybe with the fact that the Sound Transit taxing authority in the package falls $4 billion short—billion with a “b”—not $4 “million” as the editors report. Yes, it’s just a typo, I know (or at least I hope), but you’re the editorial page of the largest daily in the state, for chrisakes, so I mean, fuck.
Second, “a nod to the populous Pierce, King and Snohomish counties” … really? You mean a nod to more than half the population of the state? And not a nod, exactly—more like a middle finger. Sound Transit asked for $15 billion in authority, because that’s how much it figures it needs, and the Republican controlled senate says, “Fuck you, you’ll get $11 billion and thank us for it!” Based on what?
Which brings us to my third point: It’s not their money, and it’s none of their fucking business! We’re not asking for $15 billion. We’re asking for permission to ask local voters for permission to tax themselves to build the transit system they need. It’s not like we’re a fucking welfare queen like Sen. King’s Yakima County, greedily suckling at the state taxpayers’ teat. We here in King County send $1.61 to Olympia for every dollar we get back. All we’re asking for, after subsidizing the rest of the fucking state, is to be allowed to tax ourselves to take care of our own needs for a change. How hard is that?
Now, if this were a fight over which tax to fund the transportation package, or how much to tax, or how those limited tax revenues should be divvied up amongst the 39 counties, then yeah, I suppose we all need to compromise, because the final deal would impact all the voters in the state. A dollar spent here is a dollar that’s not spent there, after all. But that isn’t this fight. This is just envious Republicans outside of the prosperous Puget Sound region intentionally fucking with us, just because. The goal is to set Sound Transit up for failure by forcing it to propose a sales tax heavy package that doesn’t build enough in each subarea to attract a majority of voters. Just like they did to Metro by denying it MVET authority.
So no, this is not a time for everyone to compromise, at least not on this issue. Adequate ST taxing authority should be a precondition of any transportation funding package. Enough of their fucking games. If they want Democrats to take the heat for voting to raise everybody’s gas tax, then they need to give us the local taxing authority we want and need. Period. Otherwise, the senate Republicans should use their precious majority to pass this package themselves.