Only seven weeks ago, King County officials threatened voters with a 16% cut in bus services if Proposition 1—which would have implemented an additional $60 car tab fee and hiked sales tax by .1% in King County—was not approved. Of course, King County voters soundly rejected Prop 1, which then brought about the devastating cuts predicted by county officials (and tax advocates)… Right?
Apparently not. Today, the King County Council will vote on two competing proposals that would each result in “relatively small reductions” to King County Metro bus route cuts originally planned for September.
– Eliminating paper transfers: projected to save $4 million a year in printing and distribution costs and reduce fraud.
– ORCA passes: pricing monthly passes “to equal the cost of 40 one-way trips instead of the current 36” would increase Metro’s fare revenues.
– Increasing fares: Tacking on 25 cents in 2016 would increase revenue by “$6.5 million a year or 65,000 yearly service hours.”
Although now on the side of reform, Democrat Councilmember Rod Dembowski insists county officials did not cry wolf when they threatened to make deep cuts to Metro if they didn’t get their tax increases. According to the Seattle Times, Dembowski continues to claim that “Metro was being candid about its needs, and that an uptick in sales-tax revenues — Metro’s largest source of income — happened after the ballot measure was written.”
Question for Dembowski:
Do you define “candid” as trying to hide that “uptick in sales-tax revenues”—a $32 million windfall—prior to the April 22nd special election – and when caught, Metro claiming it would only slightly decrease the projected cuts because — given its high operating costs — transit officials needed $600 per hour of bus service saved?
For taxpayers wondering just what is going on at the King County courthouse, remember when Fred Jarrett (Deputy King County Executive and Dow Constantine’s chief water carrier) called King County voters “dumb” for defeating Prop 1? Well, for your benefit, you can review Metro and tax advocates’ wild, sky-is-falling claims of calamity that would befall King County voters if they did not approve Prop 1 here and here—all while asking yourself, who looks dumb now?