“I-976 could leave Washington voters with a harsh reckoning”
- Editor’s note: Yelm’s Loop project is now on-hold.
“Judging from Initiative 976’s initial results, state Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was right: The Hunger Games are about to start.
“The voters’ approval of I-976 will pit worthy project against worthy project as the state’s many infrastructure needs are triaged to meet this new austerity mandate. Significant road, rail and ferry projects are going to be in fierce competition for scarce dollars, now that I-976 has lopped off a major source of funding.
“Blame your Legislature for allowing the debate over car tabs to progress to an election that will slow Sound Transit voter-approved projects, trim voter-approved Seattle transit and kill funding for council-approved projects across the state. Lawmakers spent years shirking their responsibility to fix Sound Transit’s Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. Wide swaths of the public loathed that the tax’s formula disregarded cars’ actual market worth by inflating new cars’ values,” by the Seattle Times Editorial Board. Read more
Yelm braces for affects of I-976 approval
“In a written statement, spokesperson Andrew Kollar said the city of Yelm is concerned the initiative could impact transportation projects such as the state-funded Yelm Loop project.
“‘We were concerned this initiative would impact transportation projects, and just as we feared, WSDOT was directed to postpone all projects that are not ‘underway,’ Kollar wrote.
“Kollar said the city reached out to Gov. Inslee’s office for clarification on what “underway” means, and that it’s also waiting for the state Department of Transportation to provide a list of impacted projects.
“Other projects in the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan require grant funding that also could be affected.
“‘With a significant cut to revenue, we can expect to see a considerable reduction in grant funding opportunities for infrastructure improvements in Yelm and throughout the South Sound region,’ Kollar wrote,” by Sara Gentzler, The Olympian. Read more