Is ST3 more affordable than the Seattle Times? Here's what the numbers say

By: Graham Johnson

Updated:

The debate over Sound Transit 3 led to this catchy infographic making the rounds on Twitter Monday.

 

It was posted by Seattle Subway and aimed at the Seattle Times editorial board, which again wrote critically about the ballot measure in November.

It makes a point, but is it true? Let’s break it down.

Seattle Subway, a transit advocacy group that backs ST3, makes reference to the $169 per year that Sound Transit says ST3 will cost the typical adult.

Here’s where that dollar figure comes from:  The typical household will pay $326 and with 1.93 people per household, Sound Transit’s estimate is about $169 per person. 

So, is the annual cost of a newspaper the same as ST3?

Not really, unless you have two people in a household who each pay a newspaper subscription.*     

It’s worth remembering that Sound Transit’s district includes all but rural King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, where home values and incomes vary widely.

This is why individual tax increases could be very different and Sound Transit has now posted an online calculator.

*Update 9/20: Seattle Subway points out that the full Seattle Times annual subscription rate is actually $452.40, and the rate cited in their meme is the newspaper’s promotional price.

On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on KIRO 7, we look closely at the costs of ST3 to individuals and talk with critics who say they won’t get their money’s worth. We also hear from ST3 supporters who say there’s another way to consider the impact on household costs if train service is so good you don’t need a second (or first) car at all.      

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