By all accounts Mayor Ed Murray is expected to ask the city council to send to the ballot a measure to buy back in-city Metro bus service cuts via a $60 car tab fee and tenth of a cent hike in the sales tax. Sound familiar? That’s the exact same tax that was rejected by King County voters last month in the form of Proposition 1, because it’s the exact same taxing authority also granted to the city via a transportation benefit district.
Call it Proposition 1.1.
I suppose this funding option is as good as any other, especially considering that Prop 1 passed here in Seattle. Even better, it’s Ed’s idea rather than Ben’s, so that means Prop 1.1 will enjoy Ed’s enthusiastic support. Which is fine. I don’t really care who gets the credit for things as long as good things get done. And buying back Metro bus service cuts is a good thing.
That said, I just can’t help but feeling a little wistful over the fact that just couple years ago Seattle voters rejected a similar car tab measure targeted toward expanding transit service—precious taxing authority we’ll now be using merely to preserve transit service. That’s not much of a step forward. Also, it is of course a shame that suburban and exurban Metro riders will be totally dicked over by these cuts. But what are we to do? Suffer in sympathy?