In the News: Local lawmakers call for investigation into Sound Transit 3 measure

KIRO 7 – Seattle

Sound Transit is getting more pressure about the high cost of car tab fees.

Two lawmakers in Olympia accuse the transit agency of deceiving the voters and the legislature.

Senators Steve O’Ban and Dino Rossi are calling for an investigation into whether Sound Transit engaged in a “systematic effort to confuse and misrepresent the impact and cost of the ST3 authorization to legislators and the public.”

They think the agency may have deliberately deceived lawmakers and the public.

O’Ban and Rossi are asking either the Law and Justice Committee or the Transportation Committee to hold a hearing to investigate Sound Transit’s communications with the legislature and possible “improper participation” in the election.

They say the agency may have engaged in a systematic effort to confuse and misrepresent the impact and cost of ST3.

One of the biggest complaints that prompted a lot of discussion in Olympia this session is Sound Transit’s use of inflated car values to calculate car tab fees.

“Even Sound Transit’s staunchest defenders are now expressing shock over how they’re pricing car-tab taxes and their overall funding authorization,” said O’Ban.

But an even bigger concern, for some, is the way Sound Transit is able to get funding authorization, without legislative scrutiny.

In a letter to the chairs of those two committees, Senator Rossi wrote, “Even House Democrats don’t buy Sound Transit’s shell game … There are legitimate questions about the bait and switch pulled on both the legislators and the public. We deserve to know the truth.”

Sound Transit says the claims of deception have no validity.