$1 billion Seattle transportation plan draws critics

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is facing some stiff opposition in his plan to raise nearly $1 billion for transportation projects and congestion relief.

In just the last week both The Seattle Times and the League of Women Voters have come out strongly against the nearly $1 billion property tax increase.  Both argue the Seattle Move plan, as it’s called, is too expensive and can’t even guarantee which projects will get funded.

“For all that money, it’s not really clearly what Move Seattle aims to do,” wrote The Seattle Times Editorial Board over the weekend.  “Nor is it clear that the city’s transportation department deserves the trust required from $930 million more in taxpayer money.”

Just yesterday, during his annual budget speech, Murray admitted that the City needs to do a better job with taxpayer money, especially in light of some recent expensive overruns.  “If we are to succeed in gaining voter approval for future funding, we must be more transparent, more accountable, and more outcome driven,” Murray said.  “Our experience with the seawall demonstrates that we must do a better job at managing out capital costs.”

Here are the major elements of the Mayor’s Move Seattle Plan:

    The Mayor’s tone is clearly changing as more groups come out against the plan.  He’s talking a lot more about accountability than he was just a few weeks ago.  He knows that if he loses this one, he’ll have a big hole to fill…and no money.