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Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 9, 2014 at 5:59 AM

King County Prop. 1: Metro forced into limited revenue options

The Seattle Times’ editorial opposing Proposition 1 is extremely disappointing [“King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1,” Opinion, April 7]. I don’t have space to address all the distortions, so I will pick just one:

The reason Metro is in bad financial shape is ignored in the editorial: Tim Eyman and the Legislature eliminated a progressive, stable source of funding for transit, the motor vehicle excise tax.

Under the tax, car owners are taxed based on the value of a car — a progressive and reasonable idea. But since the tax was eliminated, transit agencies have had to depend on the sales tax, which is volatile and regressive. Sales tax revenue plummets in recessions, thus leading us to where we are today.

King County wants to bring back the vehicle excise tax, but the Legislature failed to provide that authority, leaving us with the only option for preventing bus cuts: a flat vehicle fee (with low-income rebate) and a sales-tax bump.

The reason we got here is not Metro waste nor rich bus drivers, but the elimination of a progressive and stable funding source.

Melanie Mayock, Seattle

Comments | More in Metro | Topics: king county metro, Melanie Mayock, Proposition 1

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