OLYMPIA—In the wake of broken promises of light rail service to Federal Way, state Rep. Mark Miloscia today introduced legislation to require annual state audits of Sound Transit.
“Federal Way residents are expected to hand over nearly a quarter billion dollars for light rail service that we were promised but are now told we won’t get,” said Miloscia (D-Federal Way). “We have a right to know why the promise is being broken and exactly where our money and other funding for Sound Transit is going.”
Miloscia’s House Bill 2716 would require Sound Transit to pay for the annual audits by the State Auditor.
Voters were promised in the 2008 Sound Transit 2 bond that light rail would reach 272nd Street in Federal Way by the year 2023. But Sound Transit announced last year that projected revenues only allowed the planned rail line to reach as far south as Highline Community College.
But even though Federal Way residents won’t get the service they were promised, they will still be on the hook for an estimated $240 million in tax dollars for the light rail project, according to City of Federal Way documents.
The State Auditor’s office announced earlier this year that it was launching an audit of the transit agency. That audit is scheduled to start on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and is expected to be completed in September.
The audit will be performed by Talbot, Korvola & Warwick LLP. One of the specific objectives of the audit will be to address the question, “Considering the decline in local tax revenues, how effective has Sound Transit been at meeting the promises made in its ST2 ballot measure in 2008?”
“I applaud State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s decision to move forward with an audit of Sound Transit,” said Miloscia. “But with so much at stake we cannot afford a one and done approach. We need ongoing accountability that ensures taxpayers are being served honestly and efficiently, and that’s what my bill would achieve.”
The lead co-sponsor of Miloscia’s bill is his 30th District seatmate, Rep. Katrina Asay (R-Milton).
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