Metro money crisis: No transportation package, so ‘we must pursue a local option,’ Constantine says

The Legislature has given up on reaching a transportation deal in time for a possible special session before its next regular session (here are details from our partners at The Seattle Times). So, King County Executive Dow Constantine says in a statement out late today, it looks like the county is going to have to start traveling down its own road for transportation funding:

A statewide transportation package that is fair and balanced is still our first choice, so of course I’m disappointed at the continued inability of state legislators to reach agreement on a solution. I urge lawmakers to take action on a balanced package as soon as possible in the next legislative session.

“But the consequences of continued delay are unacceptable. We need the tools to address our urgent transportation needs, and we need them now. In the absence of action by the state, we must pursue a local option that uses the tools currently available to us.

“I look forward to working with the County Council to determine the timing for a measure to put before voters, and the proper mix of revenues, so that King County voters can have the chance to save bus service and maintain local roads.”

This would seem to suggest so-called “Plan B” – explained here one month ago as “existing state law (allowing) the Metropolitan King County Council to enact an ordinance creating a transportation benefit district with specific revenue authorities, including sales taxes and a flat annual vehicle fee” – is more likely than ever.

10 Replies to "Metro money crisis: No transportation package, so 'we must pursue a local option,' Constantine says"

  • Leadership Fail December 19, 2013 (8:49 pm)

    So disheartening when the cornerstones of modern society are neglected. Transportation, law enforcement and medical access. It shouldn’t be this friggin’ hard!

  • Genesee Hill December 19, 2013 (9:20 pm)

    Yeah. Disappointing.

  • transit rider December 19, 2013 (9:30 pm)

    The tax revenue that Seattle generates is disproportionately larger than the rest of the state. Got to find a way to keep the money here.

  • Genesee Hill December 19, 2013 (10:28 pm)

    You bet, transit rider. You hit the nail squarely on the head…

    The GOP in eastern Washington doesn’t see any need for more transportation money/projects. Western Washington money is funding their relatively little used highways…

    Does anyone for a moment think that the citizens in Bickleton pay for the highway from Goldendale to Bickleton to Mabton? What a joke.

  • Tuesday December 19, 2013 (11:58 pm)

    So what you’re saying here, Genesee Hill and Transit Rider, is that you’re against tax revenue redistribution in this case?

  • JJ December 20, 2013 (7:38 am)

    Dow, what a joke, can’t believe you represent Schmitz Park elementary, mr. Wilborn turning over in his grave. What West Seattle needs is to design a bus that is 2ft wide so it can ride in the useless bus lanes we’ve wasted millions of dollars on

  • Jeffrey December 20, 2013 (8:27 am)

    Again. This is what was voted for. You people are hilarious. The same old song and dance keeps getting elected and different results are expected.

    The humor is greatly appreciated.

  • kk December 20, 2013 (2:04 pm)

    Great, a local option it is. Let’s remove the loaded guy from the infant’s hands. This would have been a lever that would have created another sprawl inducing pet project highway in exchange for us being allowed to tax ourselves for transit. Lets skip the middle man and starve the rural/exurban pork beast.

  • ramshackle December 20, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    No plan B metro funding. No tax payer funded metro bailout. Let metro execs learn to operate on the already ample funds they take in via gas tax, property tax, sales tax and fees added on top of vehicle licensing fees.

    Dow wants motorists to pay an additional $80 to $100 per year, per vehicle (!) to bailout metro. This is egregious. Motorists aren’t using transit because they are driving. Motorists should not be punished anymore for the failure of metro execs to plan/budget.

    Poor and lower-middle class people and families who happen to drive are going to be hurt by this. It’s not just transit users who are struggling economically. It’s wrong to assume just because someone drives that they can afford to foot the ever-increasing bill for Seattle transit- (an amenity they very likely don’t even use if they are licensing a vehicle).

    No Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET)
    No Plan B Metro funding
    No taxpayer funded Metro bailout

    How can you rail against taxpayer bailouts of banks and financial institutions and suggest taxpayers should bailout Metro? That’s hypocrisy.

  • Jane December 22, 2013 (11:10 am)

    Now to get people who drive their cars every day actually pay for their gas and the roads they use instead of having it funded by my taxes, we might actually get somewhere.

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