Election 2014

Get Ready to Vote on the Monorail Again

Anti-tunnel activist and civic gadfly Elizabeth Campbell files an initiative that would create a new monorail authority in Seattle.

By Erica C. Barnett July 24, 2014

Serial initiative filer and anti-tunnel activist Elizabeth Campbell, seen most recently filing a complaint charging city council member Kshama Sawant of using her council office to campaign for a $15 minimum wage initiative, has filed an initiative that would create a new monorail authority (to be known as the Century Transportation Authority), using a $5 vehicle license tab fee

The new agency would have all the rights of the former Seattle Monorail Project, including taxing authority, the right to condemn property, and the ability to impose, with voter approval, vehicle license fees of up to $100 per car.

According to Kim Van Eckstrom, spokeswoman for King County Elections, which has authority over the ballot measure (because it creates a new government agency with the same boundaries as Seattle, the measure has to go through King County as opposed to Seattle Elections), the CTA collected the required number of signatures—4,582, or 1 percent of registered Seattle voters—so "it will be on the ballot in November." Only Seattle voters will be eligible to vote on the measure.

According to the ballot title, the measure would also set up an eight-member board of directors and a 22-member advisory council. 

The original monorail agency, known first as the Elevated Transportation Company and later as the Seattle Monorail Project, went out of business in 2005, after errors in estimating the agency's tax base, and a massive resulting revenue shortfall, came to light. Voters rejected funding the SMP, which relied on a single, often very expensive, tax (a 1.4 percent MVET) that year after approving the monorail in three earlier elections.

We have a call out to Campbell.


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