Sound Transit is not flinching, even with the Initiative 976 looming overhead.
The agency approved its 2020 budget worth $3.1 billion. It is business as usual for Sound Transit. Board Chairman John Marchione says Sound Transit will still collect higher car excise fees until $2.3 billion in bonds is paid off. Those bonds were secured via the car excise fees. The Washington Supreme Court also has delayed the activation of Initiative 976.
Retail sales and use taxes are expected to supply $1.5 billion in funding next year, $359 million will be supplied by car tabs and rental car taxes, and $333 million will come in the form of federal money for a total of $2.5 billion. Most of the line items in the 2020 budget deal with light rail expansion. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is postponing Department of Transportation projects still in the paperwork phase due to the passage of Initiative 976.
Before the budget vote Seattle Mayor and board member Jenny Durkan wanted assurance that construction and labor cost increases are factored into the final number. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff says the agency takes those increases into consideration every year.
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