Today, the Municipal League of King County recommended voters say “no” to Seattle’s new Proposition 1, “which would raise sales taxes and car-tab fees to pay for more city bus service.” According to the Seattle Times, the League stated that the new Prop 1 constitutes “something close to a blank check.” The League’s statement criticizes the “shifting nature of the campaign — first to save doomed King County Metro Transit lines, now to add service and frequency.”
Seattle decided to place its own version of Prop 1 (which King County voters rejected back in April) on the November ballot. Seattle’s Prop 1 would increase sales tax by 0.1 percent and implement an additional $60 car-tab fee for six years in order to “save” King County Metro bus routes within the city.
As SHIFT recently reported, everything changed when news broke that King County officials falsely threatened voters with bus service cuts when they proposed Prop 1 the first time around. Due to a windfall in sales tax revenue and some simple cost cutting solutions, the King County Council voted not to follow through on bus route cuts scheduled for 2015-16.
That reality left Seattle with the problem of how they would use the excess revenue, assuming Seattleites pass the new Prop 1. Promises of increasing bus routes have been made to Seattle voters. Of course, that means the City of Seattle plans to use taxpayer dollars to operate empty buses that cross the city at regular intervals. Essentially, city officials are planning to waste taxpayer dollars before they have any taxpayer dollars to waste.
It’s worthwhile to note that the Municipal League of King County actually supported Prop 1 the first time around. We’re glad to see the League will not repeat its mistake and fall for more threats and empty promises.