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