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Sound Transit ponders priorities to help close $3.9 billion funding gap


As Sound Transit’s board begins working on its fiscal-year 2011 budget, they also will work to realign project and service priorities to help close a $3.9 billion funding gap projected over the next 12 years.

Based on current projections, Sound Transit expects revenue to plummet $3.9 billion by 2023 — 25 percent less than agency officials initially estimated.

“No organization can confront an expected 25 percent reduction in revenues without asking — and answering — hard questions about priorities,” said Sound Transit Chairman Aaron Reardon in a prepared statement. “It is important that we address these issues now and continue to move forward with expanding the region’s mass transit system as rapidly as we can.”

The proposed FY2011 budget includes recommendations to address the shortfall by using each subarea’s uncommitted funds and/or bonding capacity; scaling back the subarea plan or projects within the plan; extending the completion time period for subarea plans; and seeking legislative authorization and voter approval for additional resources.

Sound Transit receives the majority of its funding through sales tax revenue and a smaller percentage from a motor vehicle excise tax and car rental tax within the agency’s district, which includes urban areas in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/27/2010