Herrera Beutler calls for districtwide light rail vote

first_imgCongresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler wrote a strongly worded letter to the C-Tran Board of Directors Wednesday saying she can’t help find federal funding for the Columbia River Crossing without a districtwide vote on a proposed sales tax increase to fund light rail.The C-Tran Board of Directors agreed Tuesday night to postpone until after the November election a decision on whether to put a sales tax increase before a subdistrict — such as Vancouver and its urban growth boundary, for example — or to the entire C-Tran service area, which spans much of Clark County. The board did say it is committed to having a vote in August or November 2012.But Herrera Beutler, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said she’d like to see a vote this November, or in a February 2012 special election.“If the light rail vote goes down — which it may not, who knows — if it does, that is a signal that we have to redesign this and do what the people want,” she said by phone from Washington, D.C. “My whole focus is on if the people who are going to be asked to pay for the bridge agree with what we’re doing.”The C-Tran vote is not a referendum approving or rejecting the CRC, a $3.6 billion megaproject that includes seven interchange improvements and a replacement Interstate 5 bridge. Rather, the vote is a one-tenth of 1 percent tax increase for operations and maintenance of a light rail line from Portland and to Clark College, along with funding for Bus Rapid Transit in downtown Vancouver.last_img

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