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A Theme is Emerging

By Josh Feit February 2, 2009

Leaders in Olympia, including Governor Chris Gegoire and Senate Majority Caucus Leader Sen. Ed Murray (D-43), have both said that the proposed 1 percent MVET increase that was expected to raise $120 million for transit along the Viaduct corridor—and was supposedly a key element of the waterfront tunnel plan—is not part of the plan now at all. (The money was also supposed to expand Metro service throughout all of King County.)

First, came Sen. Murray who told PubliCola last Friday that the transit money for the Viaduct was not a priority.

And then today, Seattle Times reporter Andrew Garber reported that Governor Gregoire told him the MVET money was not part of the tunnel plan.

The implication is this: The coalition that's pushing the tunnel plan, including environmentalists who insist that mass transit expansion has to be part of the waterfront makeover, may fall apart. 

Another problem: Even if the legislature gives the County the authority to jack up the MVET—will the County Council have the nerve to use that authority and raise it?

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