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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Metro: An idea to fund transit and an argument against it

Fund Metro with a real estate tax

Let’s pass on the expense of good transit on to those who use it [“Constantine: Let’s vote on car-tab fees and sales tax for Metro, roads,” Local News, Jan. 14].

Metro transit could be saved by having a real estate tax on buildings that have insufficient off-street parking. This would put the burden of supporting mass transit on those who would most likely use buses. The tax would be easy to levy. The information is already in the assessor’s database. The only thing that needs to be determined would be to decide what is insufficient parking.

A density tax on property could be added to the property tax. That would help with providing more transit where there are more people who use the buses more. High-density areas such as the neighborhoods around Seattle’s central business district can finance better bus service for its residents and businesses.

Additionally, higher fees can be assessed on developers who file for developing new apartments, condos or commercial developments that do not have sufficient parking to service residents, employees or customers.

Increasing the sales tax burdens the wrong population. Increasing the gas tax is like a sin tax to help mass transit. But does this not also burden the wrong population? Let us help Metro, but do it in a way that is fair and promotes better development.

Terry Hoy, Bremerton

Quit subsidizing Metro

So Metro says the only way they can keep from canceling 74 bus routes, and reducing service on another 107 routes, is to stick it to people who drive cars by raising tab fees $60 and by raising the county sales tax by .1 percent. Oh yeah, I forgot, they’re also going to raise bus fares by 25 cents. They’re guessing all of this would raise an additional $130 million a year.

I have a real simple way to fix this. Raise bus fares by $5. Quit subsidizing Metro by asking everyone who doesn’t use buses to pay for them. You want steak for dinner, then pay for it.

This city and state are so money hungry. Maybe we should rethink that deal we just gave Boeing (an $8.7 billion dollar tax break, the largest ever in the country) and give that to Metro. Just quit sticking your hands in my pockets every time you need more money.

Steve Drake, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Metro | Topics: Dow Constantine, metro, Real estate tax

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