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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

King County Metro bus routes in jeopardy

Proposed excise tax is asking too much

A Metro bus operates alongside new tracks on Broadway, where street car expansion pushes south on Capitol Hill.

A Metro bus operates alongside new tracks on Broadway, where street car expansion pushes south on Capitol Hill.

To request a 1.5 percent excise tax on automobiles so Metro Transit can continue to provide bus service to areas that don’t use it fully (or apparently even partially) seems like a bit of a stretch [“Without taxes, Metro warns of big cuts,” NWTuesday, April 2]. Residents of King County who own automobiles already pay a .003 percent Regional Transit Authority tax (another waste of taxes), a $20 weight fee, a $30 construction and maintenance fee and a $20 congestion-reduction fee (which goes to Metro).Let’s add this up: Without the additional 1.5 percent fee, on a $40,000 vehicle, we pay $190 in those four fees. Add the 1.5 percent fee to it and you get a whopping $790 each year, plus any other fees that are added, and there will be more fees based upon other requests for vehicle taxes.

Maybe it is time to stop providing service to those areas that don’t make it to the 27 percent cost of service recovery that the users provide. Maybe Metro should think about raising the fees for riders by 100 percent, which is a far smaller raise than the 1.5 percent vehicle-excise tax requested, before asking the Legislature or voters for more money from vehicle owners.

Melvin Wyman, Bellevue

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