JASON RANTZ

Rantz: ST3 proponents preyed on our gullibility, bilked us of millions

Mar 28, 2017, 4:43 AM | Updated: 5:19 am
ST3, car tabs, light rail,...
Seattle is currently dealing with a light rail outage. (Sound Transit)
(Sound Transit)

At a Monday hearing on the outrageous calculations Sound Transit uses to determine your car tab fees, Sound Transit Board Member and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland made a pretty disingenuous claim.

Related: Sound Transit CFO’s explanation confuses car-tab issue even more

“I don’t think we could have been more transparent and more overt about what the potential tax responsibility would be,” said Strickland. “We published tools on the Internet… so if you wanted to find out what your tax burden would be, there was a way to do that.”

I know how they could have been more transparent: they could have told us that they were going to use an outdated formula to take more money from us than we expected.

She is technically correct but, in the context of the current controversy, it’s a rather lame defense. There’s a reason why ST3 proponents didn’t campaign on the notion that the car tab fees would rely on an old calculation that overvalues your car so they can bilk you for more money.

Do you recall them being honest about the car tab fee calculations? They may have put a calculator on a website no one visited to cover their backsides, but the truth is they preyed on your trust. They knew you wouldn’t go to their website to double check their math; they knew you’d trust them not to use an outdated calculation. Had they been honest about the calculations, their campaign would have had to work harder to convince you to vote for their side. They bury the details online so, when caught, they can say they were honest and forthcoming. Nonsense.

Related: Fee increase on car tabs is ‘our fault’

While you should do as much research as possible before voting, ST3 proponents (politicians in general) benefit when you don’t do the research. When you make assumptions (like assuming ST3 proponents weren’t trying to bilk you out of money you didn’t expect to give), they win and you lose.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Rantz: ST3 proponents preyed on our gullibility, bilked us of millions