No on ST3: in a negotiation, you never say yes to the opening offer
When you want to buy a car or purchase a home, the seller always asks for more than they plan on accepting. Smart buyers never EVER say yes to the opening offer.
The opening “ask” by Sound Transit for ST3 is $54 billion (it’s on the November ballot in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties). That’s their opening offer. We’d be foolish to accept it.
In 1995, voters said No to ST1’s opening offer. Sound Transit came back the next year with a more affordable counteroffer and voters said OK.
In 2007, voters said No to ST2’s opening offer. The next year, Sound Transit provided a counteroffer and it was OK’d by voters.
Voters have had the discipline to consistently say No to Sound Transit’s opening offers.
Now it’s 2016. Voters and Sound Transit are in the midst of a new negotiation. Their opening offer is not the $15 billion authorized by the Legislature — no, they’ve almost quadrupled that amount, asking instead for a truly insane $54 billion.
If you were negotiating to buy a house or a new roof or a car, you’d never ever accept the seller’s opening offer. Why should you act differently when it’s a government agency like Sound Transit?
The opening offer is the best offer for the seller. But it’s never the best offer for the buyer. We are taxpayers — we are the buyers of what Sound Transit is selling. And what they’re selling will cost the average family $25,000 in higher taxes ($1000 per year for 25 years) before what they’re selling materializes. And worst of all, what they’re offering will be obsolete before that day arrives.
ST3’s $54 billion price tag is pure insanity. It’s not their last, best offer — it’s their opening offer. Let’s all be good negotiators and vote NO on ST3.
If voters reject ST3 in November, Sound Transit’s counteroffer will not be a blank check. Guaranteed it will be a heckuvalot more affordable than $54 billion.
You can count on us to fight against this kind of tax-hiking insanity. The voters’ passage of our Initiative 1366 last year certainly shows that the people are in no mood for any tax hikes, let alone increases totaling $54 billion.