Neighborhood-level breakdowns of last month’s Proposition 1 vote show the depth of suburban antipathy toward higher taxes.
The map below, by Seattle Times staff reporter Justin Mayo, shows the results by precinct. Of the 39 cities in King County, only booming Seattle and petite Lake Forest Park delivered majority support, at 66 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Countywide, 46 percent favored the measure.
Lake Forest Park, at the north end of Lake Washington along Highway 522, enjoys ample and frequent bus service, used not only by downtown commuters but a noticeable clientele of University of Washington students and staff.
Only a few pockets of support appeared on the Eastside. These are places where young adults live in apartment clusters, such as downtown Redmond, the Mercer Island retail district, north Issaquah near Lake Sammamish, and the Overlake area near Microsoft. Some yes voters appear near transit lines in Kirkland and Bothell.
Proposition 1 called for a sales tax increase of 0.1 percent, and a $60 car-tab fee, raising nearly $130 million a year to preserve bus service hours and supplement local street funds. The plan was devised in part to deal with fast-crumbling roads in unincorporated King County, but only $6.4 million a year, or 13 percent of the $51 million roads share, would have gone there, while most of the money would have gone to city street departments. In the voting, only 28 percent of unincorporated residents said yes.
In Kent, where only 27 percent approved Prop. 1, Mayor Suzette Cooke said it was a mistake for county officials to mix car-tabs and sales tax together. She also said that right or wrong, many residents have an expectation that car-tab fees should be $30, as prescribed by winning statewide measures from anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.
“I think car-tab money should be used for road maintenance. That’s a no-brainer for me,” Cooke said.
Seattle officials, looking at big Prop. 1 support in the city, drew quite a different lesson and many hope the same taxes will be approved in a city-only measure in November, for transit only.
“It is clear, Seattle voters have already told us what they’re willing to support,” Mayor Ed Murray said Tuesday.
Here is chart of the percentages by city: