Rail Projects Bite Taxpayers Hard
The Washington State Republican Party has issued a DEMS Alert (DEMS = Distinctly Embarrassing Moments for Seattle) over the massive tax hit locals will sustain due to the colossally expensive light rail expansion known as Sound Transit 3:
[T]he costs of ST3 are coming crashing down on car owners and property owners who thought someone else was going to pay the $53 Billion!
Yes, Seattle voters are getting the message that you can win an election, but lose big when you close your eyes and vote for every well-funded initiative on the ballot. They are now up in arms about increases of 300% for car tabs (based on MSRP car values). Seattle voters are shocked to see that their property taxes (which will also show up as rent increases for apartment dwellers) have taken a huge jump.
It’s gotten so bad that King County is using taxpayer money to take out ads on Pandora and other radio outlets reminding people that their taxes are going up because they voted for them to do exactly that! …
Yes, Seattle, when you keep voting for tax increases, eventually, the tax man cometh!
There’s a lesson there for all of us.
Sound Transit 3 passed in November on the strength of support in Snohomish and King counties. Voters in Pierce County rejected it.
The plan calls for adding 62 miles of new Link light-rail line…
To pay for the upgrades, the sales tax is going up half a percent within the district. There’s also a new property tax assessment of 25 cents for each $1,000 of assessed valuation. And car tab fees went from 0.3 percent to 1.1 percent which is adding the equivalent of $80 for every $10,000 vehicle to one’s bill.
The car tab fees are grotesquely inflated:
Sound Transit calculates its motor vehicle excise tax using a state-developed depreciation schedule drawn up in the 1990s in which the car’s value only dips 5 or 6 percent a year. After five years, for example, a car was considered to still be worth 75 percent of its original price.
In reality, cars depreciate much more rapidly. Just driving it off the lot can cut the value by 11%; within 5 years, a new car is worth less than half what you paid for it.
Brutalizing car owners works perfectly from the point of view of moonbat masterminds, who want us to give up independent modes of transportation so that we will only go where they have planned for us to go.
At least ST3 is only a local boondoggle. The New York Times is enraged because Trump is withholding a a $647 million federal grant for California’s Caltrain. This is peanuts compared to the cost of that state’s high-speed rail project:
California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The [Los Angeles] Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.
California better hold off on secession until they persuade federal bureaucrats to cough up more of our cash.
On a tip from Becky in Washington. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.