January 26, 2006
Unlawfully collected and unlawfully spent
Buried in this article on a proposed "road improvements package" (read: a ridiculous amount will be allocated to HOV lanes and "mass" transit), we learn that Sound Transit is spending its unlawfully collected MVET unlawfully:
a Sound Transit spokesman, Geoff Patrick, said that “in general our contractors are pretty good job of meeting their (minority hiring) goals.” He offered recent Sound Transit publications that said companies holding the contracts for three parts of the Central Link construction had met or are “on track” to meet their goals for businesses operated by minorities, women and disadvantaged people.
What does one do about a rogue agency that capriciously refuses to comply with state laws that were passed by initiative (e.g. I-776 and I-200)? For starters, one can question how much sense it makes to register one's vehicle at an address in the Sound Transit taxing district when there is no enforceable law that requires one to do so.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 26, 2006
11:14 PM | Email This
I WARNED ALL OF YOU OUT THERE…NOW THAT JOHN “CHAMBERS CREEK” LADENBURG AND JULIE “QUTEE-PIE” ANDERSON ARE ON THE SOUND TRANSIT BOARD THE SPENDING SPREE WAS JUST GETTING STARTED.
IN THE TACOMA COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT WE HEARD THE NEW SOUND TRANSIT PROPOSAL THAT WOULD EXTEND THE TACOMA LINK RAIL TO THE STADIUM DISTRICT THEN UP 6TH AVENUE TO UNIVERSITY PLACE THEN DOWN MILDRED TO TACOMA CITY COLLEGE THEN OVER TO TACOMA MALL AND BACK TO DOWNTOWN.
THE ESTIMATED COST FOR THIS…$32,000 PER INCH…THAT IS RIGHT $2.75 BILLION TAX BUCKS.
AND YOU GUYS THOUGHT RON SIMMS WAS A CROCK!!!
Mr. Tacoma, the Everett proposal was smack dab down the major north-south route through Everett (excluding I-5). Is yours going to do the same damage?
And isn't it illegal these days to have quotas and setasides?
And Stefan, I registered my vehicle at a PO Box outside the taxing districts.
Tacoma and Pierce County are now and have been thoroughly corrupt since the early part of this century.
There is at this time a cabal of politicians that are, with cover from the News Buffoon and a wink and a nod from the State Auditor’s Office, using their positions as members of a private investment club.
The game works this way: a group of ‘investors’ puts together a condo project and as part of the group advancing the project certain Council Members, their family members or business associates will be among those involved. There will be an application made to the City Council for ten years of special tax breaks, basically what they are asking for is that the City allow the buyers of these condos to freeload off the rest of the taxpaying property owners in Tacoma for ten years. We are NOT talking about peanuts here either, these are ~$500,000 condos.
This leaves my mother who is retired and on a fixed income paying for Police, Fire, Garbage etc etc etc on into infinitum for people who buy these condos.
Leaving aside all the bullshit what this amounts to is a transfer of money from taxpaying property owners to politicians and their business associates because they are able to get an inflated price for these properties that come with no tax liabilities for ten years.
By the way many of these properties are also located along the Tacoma Link Light Rail route which also has redundant service provided by ST Express Buss service, while there are whole areas within the County that Ladenburg purports to steward that have absolutely no service or substandard service. This also augments the selling price that can be asked for these condos.
Benefits to the ‘investment group’ are many fold, tax breaks that allow a greater asking price, the lending institutions take these inside connections into account and provide funding at levels none of us could hope for further enriching politicians, a multiplicity of publicly funded transit options further augmenting what can be ask for the condos further enriching local politicians, their family members and/or business associates etc etc etc
While I am on the topic of pure unadulterated filth that infests the political landscape in Tacoma, let’s take a look at the Condo/Retail project that Council member Bill Evans was involved in which he was reprimanded for trying to sneak through one of these sweetheart tax deals on. Mr Evans also ‘championed’ implementation of a radical and unorthodox angle parking arrangement, which in my professional opinion carries an unacceptable level of risk, one-half block from this proposal.
It is my contention that he championed this project while working on the above mentioned Condo/Retail development and that he did so intending to submit application for either waiver of required onsite parking or reduced onsite parking thus saving him and his partners hundreds of thousands of dollars which they would pocket. We already know that he was concealing his involvement in this project, as evidenced by his reprimand in the tax abatement issue, it looks to me as though the investigation didn’t go far enough.
I thought it had to be rental property to qualify for those tax breaks. And then, after ten years, it can be sold off.
But, one guy's law interpretation is another's loophole.
BTW, Tacoma is not the only corrupt City.
J. D. H....
YOU ARE TRUELLY A BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER
COME ON DOWN TO TACOMA CITY HALL ON TUESDAY NIGHTS AT 5:00 AND JOIN ME IN SHAKING THEM UP.
Not completely on topic, but it is interesting and transportation related.
I received a “Legislative Report” from my representative yesterday – Judy Clibborn. As she is a proud member of the transportation committee I sent her an e-mail about the great use of our tax dollars.
I mentioned the bike path on an I90 bridge in Moses Lake being top on the list, which I had read here on SP, but don’t know where the reference is for that. Anyway here responses I thought were quite interesting… (Bottom up, like all e-mail threads...)
You play the cards you have. Transportation was and is one of the most important issues for me and the state. Business, labor, and now the citizens have spoken. I am doing the best I can. I will take the slings and arrows but I am still going to do what I think is best. Obviously the citizens were not thwarted! Have a nice evening.. It is 7:30 pm and I am going home.
I appreciate you being honest, but am horrified that this is pawned off as a "political strategy". Why would anyone with more than half an ounce of ethics try and thwart the peoples' will - whom you supposedly represent? By doing so you are basically saying the people do not want this, but screw them, we know what is good for them. Does nanny-state or socialism come to mind?
This is a political strategy. I am being honest. But the people spoke.
This one is hard to understand. "The answer to the emergency clause debate is that we did it on purpose to stop a run on an initiative." You put an emergency clause on on purpose to stop the voice of the people as opposed to it actually being an emergency? Are you serious?
It is hard to figure out what list you are talking about. Maybe this bike path is part of the re-stripping of I-90 as it changes.
The answer to the emergency clause debate is that we did it on purpose to stop a run on an initiative. Didn't work. But...initiative failed.
As far as paying for the big issue projects, we have always intended to pay for those partly with state wide money and partly with local money. That effort is RTID. It is a vote of the Puget sound region to raise the $$ to complete these these big projects. If you look at the 5 cent projects, the 9 cent projects and the RTID projects, you would see they are completed.
Hope this helps.
I received your legislative report today and had a question on transportation. In the report you say that you "intend to see to it that our transportation dollars are spent wisely and effectively". From what I understand, a bike path on an I90 bridge was the project at the top of the 9.5 cent gas tax list.
1. How is this top of the list item considered an emergency (no matter where it is on the list), as the tax hike was deemed and passed as an emergency?
2. How is this considered spending "wisely and effectively" if 520 was about to sink and the viaduct about to fall - the excuses for the 30% tax increase?
As much as I don't like it and I don't Judy and her ilk are correct, the people have spoken overwhelmingly in favor of the latest round of taxes and to be sure the additional taxes required to respond to the emergencies which we are told exist.
Logic has nothing to do with it. We as a society have rubber stamped their actions regardless of how expensive and misguided they may be. We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.
Stupidness and ignorance are not against the law and frequently constitute the basis for acceptable behavior. Therein is the frustration and ruin of our society. This applies not only to transportation policy but most of the political activity that routinely occurs in Olympia and Washington on a daily basis resulting in outrageous governance.
Long live the Queen.
Hey, she stood in there and took it. She didn't run away like most of them do. Gotta give her credit for that.
And honest? You don't get that anywhere else.
That said, put up a good candidate and vote the bum out.
Also, “there is no enforceable law that requires one to” pay the taxes ST and SMP implemented under the two authorizing statutes they are relying on either 1) annually, or 2) as a condition of vehicle licensing by DOL.
But sections 3-6 of SSB 6247 would change that:
Those sections of SSB 6247 would add the statutory language that ST and SMP need to legally do what they have been doing for several years.
10. So the RTA is nothing more than an outreach program for dem votes.....and I'm helping pay for it! Researched PO Boxes but the USPS site is vague on costs. What would it run yearly for the smallest box that would accept license renewal envelopes?
11. P.O. boxes start at around $30 for 6 months. I just opened one a few months ago.