I want to mention one other point Ladenburg had yesterday about Sound Transit: governance reform is not popular in Pierce County. The Pierce County voters see it as a way to get more power in King County and less power for them, so they oppose governance reform. Ladenburg said that when Rice and Stanton, two people fighting for governance reform, gave a presentation to a business group in Pierce County, the response was very negative with people asking “Your solution to transportation is more elected officials?”

Pierce County residents do have good reason to believe governance reform would not benefit them. One major impetus for governance reform at the state legislature is that the expensive roads projects in King County, the Alaska Way Viaduct, SR-167 and the SR-520 floating bridge are the state’s responsibility and governance reform is an attempt to get central Puget Sound taxpayers to foot the bill for these projects rather than the whole state. But few in Pierce County use these roads either, and having the taxpayers down there pay for those roads doesn’t seem fair either.

4 Replies to “More Ladenburg”

  1. In general, I agree with Ladenburg on this.

    As a Pierce County resident, I would go a step further and say that a greater percentage of Seattle/King County should funds should be used in Snohomish and Pierce County due to the fact that Seattle/King County receive the benefit of increased sales and B&O taxes without the added expense of city services. By having a third of Pierce County residents commute north to King County for employment decreases economic development in Pierce County while increasing service (police, fire, schools, etc) costs for local governments.

    1. That argument could go both ways. For example, Snohomish county residents drive on roads paid for by king county residents but don’t pay the property taxes to support the roads.

      For light rail, money spent in King County will get the rail all the way to the borders, but everyone riding those trains home across the border into pierce or snohomish will be using trains paid for by King County residents.

    2. I couldn’t disagree more. Seattle is a vital economic center and shouldn’t be punished for providing jobs to other counties. Once you start charging for secondary effects you go down quite the slippery slope.

      For example, couldn’t it be argued that if it were a Seattle-only plan we wouldn’t have built South of Seatac and instead focused on in-city rail? So should Pierce fund all development south of Seatac? I don’t think so.

      Let’s not get petty about the secondary effects — we as a region have a long way to go and should be working together on things.

    3. Wait… Seattle/King County build the transportation for Pierce County residents, who pay Pierce County property taxes (which I think fund most of what you just mentioned, those services, although I could be wrong). Seattle absolutely provides more taxes than they use – how do you think highway expansion gets paid for in places like Lewis County?

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