About a week ago, Brad at Seattlest posted accusations of improper sales tax collections aimed at Sound Transit and the state DOR. Because we make a good-faith effort to bring information potentially embarassing to ST out into the open to be examined, we linked to it and said that if he had his facts straight it was a good point, and went on to put a loose upper bound on the damage if he was correct.
But now Brad has wildly mischaracterized that post as “agreeing” with him, and somehow this paragraph of mine:
That comes out to about $62 million, but that assumes that those relatively rural areas have the same median income as the area as a whole; assumes residents do no shopping in the district proper; and ignores inflation over the past decade. I think it’s safe to say that the total impact is something substantially less than that figure, so loose talk about “hundreds of millions” is probably not correct.
turned into this on Brad’s new post:
STB has calculated that people living in the non-RTA areas could have been incorrectly overcharged by over $60 million in sales tax for their personal purchases since the creation of the district in the mid-’90s.
No nuance, no mention of the fact that it’s probably a gross overestimate, etc. That’s an incredibly misleading portrayal of my conclusions.
I’m not sure what kind of agenda Brad’s pushing, but if I hadn’t made it clear enough:
I hereby disassociate from all the conclusions he makes in both his posts. To the extent that I speak for STB, I do so on its behalf as well. I have no idea if Brad’s initial accusations are correct or not.
UPDATE: Seattlest has registered my objections on the main post. I thank them for their prompt action. As for our “disinterest” in further exploration of the issue, if more facts come to light we’ll continue to post on the subject.