Where did the money go?

December 18th, 2008 by Ken

Intercity Transit, which was sitting on nearly $30 million dollars in reserves not less than two years ago, has now indicated it will seek voter approval for another sales tax increase to fund transit operations.

Intercity Transit says it won’t be able to fund current operations past 2011 if it doesn’t receive a sales tax increase.  The system currently gets 6/10ths of one percent on every sale made in Thurston County and wants to increase that amount to 8/10ths of one percent.

But, if the transit system needs money – – where did its $30 million dollar surplus go?

To start with, Intercity Transit hired nearly 80 new employees in the last two years, bought new property, expanded its main bus facility and increased service routes and frequency.

It doesn’t take long at that rate to spend an extra $30 million.

Just like the library system, the fire department and county government, Intercity Transit expanded during good times, and now that times aren’t so good, it doesn’t know how it’s going to pay for all of its new employees.

That’s a management problem, not a financial problem.

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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