Even as the Metro cuts we voted to make happen start to happen, we should consider other ways to pay for it. Goldy had a piece on Seattle maybe keeping our transit, but it really should be a regional thing. The Seattle Times tells us that the biggest problem was how regressive the tax was (and that we pay bus drivers). I’m sure the fact that they haven’t suggested any solutions is a lack of imagination, not proof that complaining about a regressive tax was bad faith. So with that in mind here are some suggestions to at least pay for part of the shortfall:
– King County should up the B&O tax for newspapers to match what the state cut: A few years the state gave an exemption to a portion of that tax to newspapers. Since The Seattle Times is so against unfair, regressive taxes, they’re surely against this unfair regressive tax loophole. I know their publisher lobbied for it, but he also shot a dog [Spokesman Review link]. People do things they regret, and I’m sure given his paper’s fight against regressive taxes, this is another thing he’ll change his mind on. As long as the state insists on being foolish, King County should impose a B&O tax on newspapers to match what it would have paid to the state.
– Private Charity: As we all know when Boeing and Microsoft help gut state education, and then pay a tiny little itty bitty portion of what they saved back, we applaud the paying back. Since The Seattle Times will undoubtedly claim victory for the defeat of Prop 1, they should step up and pay for buses. This is especially true since The Seattle Times doesn’t think 550,00 hours is very much of a loss, it won’t be very much for them to make up.
– Local income tax: It’s time — it’s probably past time — for a King County high earner’s income tax, and apply that to the Metro gap. Is it constitutional? I don’t know! Would the Seattle Times support it? Well, they wanted a less regressive tax, so who knows?
– Dog shooter tax: I don’t know the demographics of who shoots dogs, so this might not be as progressive as I would hope. But obviously, they’re terrible, terrible people. Anyone who thinks people who shoot at dogs shouldn’t pay their fair share and then some more must also be a terrible person who frankly doesn’t deserve to be listened to on anything ever.