Snohomish County voters will have the opportunity to show they are “better” than Seattle this election, by raising their sales tax even higher than the Emerald City, should they choose. Proposition 1, a countywide measure, would raise the sales tax rate by 0.3 percentage points for a staggering total of 9.8 percent in much of south Snohomish County. The new rate would top the state, exceeding that of Seattle’s 9.6%.
Elected officials were forced to balance their budgets, and reduce services provided by Snohomish County’s Community Transit over the last 10 years. Though the end of the recession has allowed the agency to restore cut services, elected officials have set their sites higher. According to the Seattle Times, they hope to “transform lifestyle and housing patterns, by making public transit options abundant.”
Proposition 1 promises to add two more Swift bus-rapid transit lines every 12 minutes. Additionally, new routes would be added to the Highway 9 corridor. The measure would result in 1.2% sales tax rate just for Community Transit.
Snohomish County voters will have to decide whether or not having the highest sales tax in the state is worth their elected officials’ vision of transforming the county’s “lifestyle and housing patterns.”