This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Come July 1, some drivers who cross the Tacoma Narrows bridge will be paying more to make the trip. The question is: How much more and to what aim?
State Treasurer Jim McIntire, being a numbers guy, would prefer to err on the conservative side.
He’s hoping to improve his chances of driving a bargain when he sells bonds for Seattle’s new Highway 520 bridge in a couple of years. He wants to impress investors with displays of the state flexing its tolling authority in the name of fiscal prudence.
McIntire’s suggestion has prompted a debate over the appropriate size of the bridge account’s reserves. Building a fat savings account is usually a good idea – unless you’re padding it with money extracted from people who are struggling to pay their bills, much less save.