Mayor Ed Murray’s Secret Plan to Save Transit

In fact, it’s so secret that Mayor Ed Murray doesn’t even know it yet! But if he really wants to save Seattle from devastating Metro bus service cuts, and he really wants avoid putting a transit-oriented property tax initiative on the ballot this fall, here’s all he and his allies on the city council need to do: restore the head tax and and raise the commercial parking tax.

Both can be done councilmanically—that is, without being referred to voters—and combined, the two taxes could raise up to $50 million, almost twice that under the proposed property tax initiative. Just push a transit package through the council now, and there’s no need to send the initiative to the ballot. Simple!

That said, I sure don’t buy the argument that there isn’t available levy capacity to fund both transit and universal preschool, and I caution both transit and preschool supporters that this is a rhetorically dangerous argument to push.


  1. 1

    Travis Bickle spews:

    Apparently Murray is pretty serious about cutting off the funding tap for this (your link):

    In other “Plan C” news: State Representative Eileen Cody withdrew her endorsement from Keep Seattle Moving in the space of a single day yesterday, much like State Senator Adam Kline.

    I’m wondering how many more sentences I have to write not to have this deleted so I’ll just re-iterate that two state senators have pulled their support for the Plan C initiative, perhaps under some pressure from the mayor.

  2. 3

    guerre spews:

    @1 “perhaps”? Isn’t this confirmed in The Stranger?

    Isn’t the argument really that when it comes to the ballot, the more property tax levies there are, the reduced chance that voters will sign on to an advocates preferred issue? Off the top of my head, we’ll potential have
    -O’Brien’s public financing
    Only one of those is favored by the democratic donor class as “reasonable”.

  3. 4

    wl spews:

    I hope Ben Schiendelman moves ahead with the property tax levy to fund metro. Plan E.D. is a limp dick attempt by Ed to steal the glory from McGinn and Ben.

  4. 5

    Travis Bickle spews:

    @ 2 “perhaps”? Isn’t this confirmed in The Stranger?

    Lately I’ve been reading that The Stranger has slipped a little. YMMV.

  5. 6

    SSHH spews:

    Someone needs to point out the stupidity of funding universal Pre-K for low income students, while at the same time removing the transit that will make it possible for their parents to take them to class.

  6. 7

    Ah spews:

    I love how transit always comes at the expense of the car/truck etc.. drivers. Seattles motto should be “Seattle, doing our best to drive you away”

  7. 9

    guerre spews:

    Use his strong relationship with King County Executive Constantine, Governor Inslee, the legislature and regional leaders to secure additional funding options to preserve and expand the Metro transit system in Seattle. Ed will partner with King County to make RapidRide rapid, better connect our neighborhoods and make speed and reliability improvements so our buses are faster and arrive when we expect them to.

    Can’t wait for that to happen

  8. 10

    guerre spews:

    Support policies that maximize transit and transportation options, including moving forward with a Sound Transit 3 light rail expansion measure in 2013 that includes a significant Seattle component, stabilizing funding for Metro bus service, and begin addressing the growing safety and maintenance backlog on our bridges and roads. Ed will manage growth to ensure that we create compact energy efficient neighborhoods in Seattle that are designed to safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

  9. 11

    guerre spews:

    As Mayor, Ed will: Create the Move Seattle Strategy…match priorities to funding opportunities so we don’t just plan work but actually secure funding, deliver projects and improve our transportation system

    Maybe his secret plan will be the unveiling of the Move Seattle Strategy, which he has yet to announce.

  10. 12

    guerre spews:

    Obviously this is all quoted directly form Its filled with references to securing stable funding, yet here we are, 6 months later, with no solid plan from him.

  11. 13

    headless lucy spews:

    I think that an effective way of getting more money would be to build special buffered ‘alcoholic drivers lanes’. You charge a special fee for using the, let’s call it, Alki Lane, and any accidents that occur are no-fault.

    I envision strong usage of such a lane. A winning slogan could be: “Don’t take the happy out of bein’ wacky! Be safe! Use the Alki Lane.”

  12. 14

    Worf spews:

    It’s really amazing what an absolute disaster Murray has proven to be. He left me cold during the campaign but honestly I didn’t care that he won. I didn’t think he would be much different from McGinn.
    But holy crap, what a thin skinned, scheming, two faced piece of shit. He truly does not care one whit for this city. It’s all about Ed.
    It’s obvious that he only reason he’s trying to stop plan C is that it isn’t his idea. Not once has he shown an ounce of leadership. He followed Sawant and the 15NOW activists and then took credit. He fucked up police reform just to get rid of anyone tainted by contact with McGinn. Now he’s trying to stop transit leaders because he think it makes him look bad to allow some one from outside his minuscule inner circle offer solutions.
    And McGinn was the divisive one?

  13. 16

    Godwin's Law spews:

    Godwin, baby, accusing your opponent of being a shill is a weak form of argument. Doing so literally makes you worse than Hitler.

  14. 18

    RossB spews:

    I’m OK with an increase on the tax of parking lots, but a head tax is much worse than a property tax increase. You basically make it more expensive for people to hire people, just as every employee gets a raise (the increase in the minimum wage will have a “trickle up” effect). A head tax is just one more reason not to hire someone in Seattle.

  15. 19

    Transit_Alliance spews:

    If we’re lucky Murray’s plan will use a payroll tax. Corporations here should have some skin in the transit game, and now they do not.