Sound Transit light rail measure to move forward

SEATTLE — Sound Transit’s Board of Directors pledged Wednesday to move forward with a November 2016 ballot measure to extend light rail to Everett and other destinations.

The move followed the Legislature allowing the transit agency to seek up to $15 billion in tax increases as part of the state budget that passed Tuesday.

“Everyone in our region, from transit riders to drivers to freight movers, will benefit from expanding mass transit,” said Everett City Councilman Paul Roberts, who serves as vice chairman of the Sound Transit Board, in a prepared statement.

Sound Transit is encouraging people to fill out an online survey to help determine specific projects to include in the expansion. Find it at www.soundtransit3.org/survey.

In addition to Everett, the expansion aims to bring light rail to downtown Redmond, Ballard, West Seattle and Tacoma as well as new bus rapid transit on I-405 from Lynnwood, better ST Express bus service and more Sounder commuter rail facilities.

To pay for the work, Sound Transit board members are expected to ask voters to approve paying up to 25 cents more in property tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value (about $75 yearly for a $300,000 house); an additional half percent in sales tax; and higher car-tab fees (about $80 per year on a vehicle worth $10,000).

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