It’s not like I write in a vacuum. So when I posted this morning that we should pursue Plan C, and buy back Metro bus service cuts within Seattle, it’s not like I didn’t know that transit advocates had been discussing exactly such an option. But I had no idea that they were prepared to move this quickly:
SEATTLE — Friends of Transit today announced it will file an initiative for the November 2014 ballot that would save bus service within Seattle city limits. The measure could raise up to $25 million a year for the next six years, enough to reverse most cuts to King County Metro routes that serve Seattle.
… The proposed initiative would increase the city’s property tax by $0.22 per $1,000 of assessed value between 2015 and 2021. The measure is estimated to generate $25 million a year in revenue, enough to fund as much as 250,000 hours of bus service. This funding would help stave off cuts to routes operating completely within Seattle, and may help reduce cuts to routes operating between Seattle and other cities. The property tax increase requires a simple majority vote for approval.
I suppose a property tax makes as much sense as a car tab, though at $0.22 per $1,000—$88 a year on a $400,000 home—it will personally cost me a tad more than Prop 1. Either way, I’m all for the city pursuing self-sufficiency in the face of inadequate revenue at the county and state level.
Friends of Transit has a content-free website at the moment, but with endlessly energetic transit advocate Ben Schiendelman behind it, I’m sure that will be remedied in a heartbeat.