Citizens Group Slams Sound Transit’s Plan to Profit From Property Theft

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) today denounced Sound Transit’s plan to generate $95 million in profits from re-selling property confiscated to build the Link light rail system. The $95 million would be used to help offset a 50 percent increase in costs for the light rail project.

Said CSE Washington State Director Gary Strannigan, “Sound Transit’s clear abuse of condemnation authority to pay for its own mismanagement is outright theft.

First, it appears the agency is planning to shortchange property owners when it seizes their land. Second, if Sound Transit plans on having land left over for resale, they must be planning to confiscate more land than they actually need. This is just another example of why the whole light rail project needs to be killed – quickly.”

Sound Transit has already drawn fire for refusing calls for an audit, announcing that its cost projections had jumped from $2.4 to $3.6 billion, and for unilaterally extending taxes an additional three years beyond what voters approved. Strannigan noted, “Every time we think Sound Transit’s arrogance has reached a pinnacle, they somehow manage to take it up a notch. This is clearly an agency that is out of control.

“Where does any government agency get the twisted idea that it can seize citizens’ private property – their homes, their businesses – just because it needs the cash to fund pet projects? This behavior borders on sociopathic,” concluded Strannigan.

— 30 —