Goldy notes the irony of suburban screw Seattle people who support sub area equity getting screwed by it (while getting a deserved jab at Rob McKenna).
Of course, that’s not how “sub-area equity” was originally billed. No, McKenna and other backers pushed it as a way to protect the rest of the Sound Transit taxing district from evil/greedy Seattle, which otherwise would have presumably sucked in all their tax dollars to build transit here. How’s that working out for you, Federal Way? Be sure to appropriately thank Mr. McKenna for his head-up-ass transit balkanization policy when he runs for governor in 2012.
Of course that’s true enough. But I was actually a bit surprised. Typically, cities do better than suburban and exurban areas in public transit funding. King County pays Seattle more for Metro than it gets back, for example. Schemes like 40-40-20 and sub area equity tend to hurt Seattle, but typically the more dense an area is, the better suited for public transit. The better suited for public transit, the more public transit there is.
If the cities were a drain on the rest of the state or county, schemes like sub area equity would make a bit of sense. But we only seem to get them on things like transit funding that benefit urban areas. Somehow, we never hear about the need for sub areas to pay for themselves on a whole host of state and county things that Seattle pays the bulk of.
If going back a few decades, the state had sub area equity for road building, we could afford to have that gold plated tunnel I keep hearing about. If we had sub area equity in education, Seattle and other King County school districts wouldn’t have to pass so many bonds. If we had sub area equity in social services, Seattle could move toward ending homelessness for real rather than just talk about it, sometimes. If King county had sub area equity for road building, I doubt very much that we’d have had to close the South Park bridge. If we had sub area equity for police, directing them to trouble spots like Belltown wouldn’t be so difficult a choice for McGinn. If we had sub area equity for sewers, well maybe when I say I’m going to the throne, it wouldn’t be a metaphor.
Of course, there are good reasons not to have sub area equity in those things. Rural King County needs those cops too; I’ve been very grateful for rural King County cops on a number of occasions. The entire state benefits from educating children in areas that don’t pay as much in taxes. I just wish we could see the benefits in the areas where Seattle and other urban areas don’t pay as much as they get back.