Debating Proposition 1: Funding Transit in Seattle’s King County

“Vote no on Proposition 1, and send King County government a message that Metro has more work to do on righting its cost structure before asking voters for more revenue,” says an editorial from the Seattle Times.
April 9, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A recent editorial from the Seattle Times attacks Proposition 1, a revenue generating initiative on the King County ballot that would ask the public for a $40 increase in car tabs and a 0.1 percent sales tax.

The Times editorial cites Metro’s repeated requests for revenue from the public: “The pattern is clear. As in previous rounds of asking taxpayers for more money, Metro sees its shortfall as a revenue problem, rather than thoroughly confronting its well-documented unsustainably high operating costs.”

According to the Times, here is the jist of the choice confronting voters:

  • “If voters approve Proposition 1, King County would have no incentive to do the hard work of bringing down labor costs that still saddle Metro with the fifth-highest driver costs in the country, behind only Boston, Santa Cruz, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.”
  • Or: “If voters turn down Proposition 1, King County threatens a round of devastating bus-service cuts, many on popular routes including those carrying students to college.”

In a strong response to the editorial on the Seattle Transit Blog, Martin H. Duke calls the argument of the Times editorial “generic union-bashing and right wing talking points about trimming fat.”

Duke details some of the unattractive options implied by the Times’ argument, but instead lists a number of proposals detailed in the past by Seattle Transit Blog to increase the efficiency of the region’s transportation infrastructure. 

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Published on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in Seattle Times
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