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October 30, 2005

Local Control of Transportation Dollars?

In today's Seattle Times, Andrew Garber asks:  Could Central Sound keep money if gas tax is repealed?.  And the answer it appears, is that politicans are seriously thinking about it, albeit with sorrow (or is it crocodile tears?).

[House Majority Leader Lynn] Kessler does expect a push to let King, Pierce and Snohomish counties — which have historically helped subsidize road projects in rural areas — keep all the gas tax and other transportation-tax revenue generated in the three-county area. That would leave other regions to fend for themselves.

"Nobody wants to go this way," Kessler said, "but the more we look at our options, I'm not sure what other options we actually have."

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said dividing the state into regions is "a terrible policy, but the fact is that we have to begin to address the problems of the central Puget Sound or our businesses are going to go somewhere else."

Haugen said, "There's no doubt in my mind there is going to be a push to do this, a huge push."

Seriously, I'm thrilled to see that elected officials are finally talking seriously about options for a post I-912 world.  I'm especially pleased to see that the idea of local control over transportation dollars is finally getting some attention. 

It's just ridiculous to let unaccountable talk radio wingnuts and their drooling zombie listeners hold Puget Sound's economic future hostage.  I'd rather have these decisions made at the state level -- we are, after all, all in this together -- but it's crazy to let a few disaffected propagandists herd us all over the cliff. 

Plus, the delicious irony of hoisitng conservatives on their own petard of "local control" and "rugged independence" is just too much for me to bear.

Posted by Jon Stahl on October 30, 2005 at 08:29 AM in Policy | Permalink

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