If approved by voters

Tukwila City Council, mayor support ST3 | Election

Voters throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish counties decide Nov. 8 on the Sound Transit regional mass transportation package known as ST3, which would improve mass transit across the three counties – expanding light rail, commuter rails and bus rapid transit service.

Voters throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish counties decide Nov. 8 on the Sound Transit regional mass transportation package known as ST3, which would improve mass transit across the three counties – expanding light rail, commuter rails and bus rapid transit service.

Proposition No. 1 proposes to complete a 116-mile regional system – five times larger than it is today – reaching Everett, Tacoma, the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and West Seattle, and new Eastside destinations of Redmond, south Kirkland, Bellevue and central Issaquah.

According to Sound Transit, the estimated cost to implement ST3 is $53.8 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars, of which $27.7 billion is to be financed with new local taxes.

ST3 would do this by increasing the following local taxes:

• Sales tax by 0.5 percent, or 50 cents on a $100 purchase;

• License tabs by a motor vehicle excise tax increase of 0.8 percent, or $80 annually on a $10,000 vehicle;

• And property taxes by 25 cents for each $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $100 annually for a house assessed at $400,000.

To show its support for the ST3 transit plan, the Tukwila City Council in July passed a resolution in favor of the measure.

The ST3 proposal includes construction of a new light rail station at South Boeing Access Road in Tukwila. With one of the largest employers in the state – Boeing – in Tukwila, mass transit is a critical issue for the city.

At 9.6 square miles, Tukwila is home to nearly 3,000 businesses, including Westfield Southcenter mall and 40,900 jobs. In 2014, there was $1.9 billion in taxable retail sales activity in the city, which was incorporated in 1908.

The economy of Tukwila depends on business and people being able to get to work each day to keep those business doors open.

The Tukwila transit station on International Boulevard acts as a major transportation hub for light rail and bus traffic.

The light rail station on the Boeing Access Road will address transportation needs “up and down the corridor” and will provide a “major way for our citizens to get to work,” Mayor Allan Ekberg said.

The station would also serve Allentown, a community tucked away on the north end of the city between Interstate 5 and the Duwamish River.

Allentown is a “transit desert” not served by any Metro buses, Ekberg said. The new station would provide transit access for residents living in Allentown, which the mayor described as a “little gem” in Tukwila.

With estimates coming from Sound Transit that 800,000 more residents will be living in the Puget Sound region by 2040 and ridership expected to increase from 145,000 to more than 600,000, mass transit affects Tukwila and its connection to the region.

ST3 would allow, “people to move around with ease, reducing and eliminating cars on streets and highways, thereby creating additional capacity on streets and highways for freight and goods…,” according to the council resolution, which was passed following an opportunity for public comment.

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