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Can You Rely On An Election Promise?

A resolution presented to and passed by the C-Tran Tuesday August 9 specifies CRC light rail spending limits only through 2012.  


The policy states in part:


A.     “C-TRAN funding, including the current voter approved 0.5% sales tax revenue, and the proposed 0.2% sales tax revenue, should it be approved on the November 8, 2011 general election ballot, or capital reserves, will not be used to fund any aspect of the CRC Project. Expenses that may result from the CRC Project will be funded from advertising revenue and contained in C-TRAN’s biennial budget and will not exceed $100,000 per year for the 2011/2012 biennium.”


Furthermore, citizens should be aware that this is a “policy” and not a guarantee. Just like this policy change was made unexpectedly at a single meeting, it can be changed in the future. State law on the other hand is not easily changed. State law (RCW 36.57A) allows C-Tran to use their sales tax revenues for any transit purpose, including light rail or bus rapid transit.


(Board member, Tim Leavitt already led the way when he promised no tolls before his election as mayor of Vancouver, then changed his mind after the election. The C-Tran board can do the same flip-flop.)