Property tax to pay for Seattle bus service? Here’s the text

April 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 82 Comments

When a citizens’ group announced on Wednesday that it would file a ballot measure for a Seattle-only property-tax levy to pay for Seattle-only bus service, we promised to publish the text when it was available. Here it is, now that it’s been filed:

The measure would raise property taxes 22 cents per $1,000 of property valuation – meaning, for example, $88 a year if you have a $400,000 house. The full news release is on the Friends of Transit website (which also includes a link to the ballot-measure text, in case you can’t read it in the Scribd embed above). The group needs to gather more than 20,600 valid signatures to get the measure onto the November ballot.

82 Comments

  1. Hell no, We voted down the last one and this one too. So you rent and think I will finance your bus ride? Wrong! Raise fares for peole that ride, or better yet lower them and I might take the bus with my family more! Metro is bloated and drivers are OVERPAID.

    Comment by jonp — 4:55 pm April 25, 2014 #

  2. It seems to have VERY strong protections in place to ensure that the money goes to principally in-city services. Section 8 in particular appears very strong. It looks like the City here would be firmly in the driver’s seat as a consumer.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 4:58 pm April 25, 2014 #

  3. I’ll be voting NO again.

    Comment by I'd ride a train — 5:03 pm April 25, 2014 #

  4. We understand what they are doing and it seems like a small amount until you start thinking about everything else they pass to add onto property taxes….pass this measure & raise property taxes, pass that measure & raise property taxes…..and our taxes just keep going up. We wish that they would learn how to manage money as the rest of us have – for instance, quit wasting money on bus bulbs that usually back up traffic & seem to often create more headaches. Shouldn’t those that actually use transit be the ones paying via fares? Just asking….

    Comment by Lar — 5:10 pm April 25, 2014 #

  5. We rejected the first bus measure and I will vote against a property tax as well. Our household still has not recovered from the economic meltdown. Plus, the city will be coming to us this fall with several more tax measures. Enough please. We are barely hanging on financially and I know we are not the only household in distress. We can’t take any more taxes now.

    Comment by Michael Waldo — 5:19 pm April 25, 2014 #

  6. Would it be possible to have Sound Transit take over some of the deleted Metro routes?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 5:33 pm April 25, 2014 #

  7. this has been on here for over an hour, and no negative comments…I’m surprised

    Comment by JanS — 5:35 pm April 25, 2014 #

  8. Why hasn’t the transit union offered to make wage and salary REDUCTIONS to bridge the gap? Shrink these bloated compensation packages.

    Comment by Fan of Dori Monson show — 5:58 pm April 25, 2014 #

  9. Would vote yes on this– if fares were raised to be more in line with what it actually costs to ride( discount for low income & students)- & commitment to manage low volume runs better.

    Comment by Gene — 6:05 pm April 25, 2014 #

  10. I think this speaks to how much the vote means in this day and age. If we want your money… WE WILL TAKE IT FROM YOU NO MATTER HOW YOU VOTE. Can’t city council just bypass the voters on this bus thing ala plastic bag ban? Why even consider the pesky voters? They’re just the ones on the hook for all of this. What an absolutely corrupt system.

    Comment by Tuesday — 6:06 pm April 25, 2014 #

  11. So very typical. The voters clearly said NO to Metro, so instead of going after the cars a new group(?) will now go after property owners. What part of, “Metro, clean up your own damn house first?” don’t these people get? I look forward to voting the same as in the last irresponsible effort, and you can be sure it will fail, too. Unreal…

    Comment by No, No, No! — 6:10 pm April 25, 2014 #

  12. Leaders need to spend within their budget constraints and STOP reaching into our wallets! They must also understand that bus riders needs should be accommodated and not make initial reductions in service during rush hours.

    Comment by stop the madness — 6:17 pm April 25, 2014 #

  13. NO taxes!
    Take the millions from the red light cameras that were installed in the name of safety since the money won’t actually be used for safety improvements. 800k projected….5 million actual in first few months

    Comment by j — 6:35 pm April 25, 2014 #

  14. No thank you to increased property taxes. METRO needs to get their financial act together by cutting costs. Union contracts need to be re-evaluated.
    The hard working middle-class homeowners I know adhere to budgets to run their households. Not spending more money than they take in — simple concept. This concept seems extremely hard for METRO and King County to embrace.

    Comment by Seattlite — 6:35 pm April 25, 2014 #

  15. I’m not an expert at the legalize wording, but this looks really good. It purchases additional service hours, for use in Seattle routes. No use for other routes, no use for non-service expenses, no use for service that Metro would otherwise provide. Excellent.
    .
    I hope that the prop tax is more acceptable to more people that the prop 1 car tax hike (although even prop one passed easily within Seattle).

    Comment by Moose2 — 6:43 pm April 25, 2014 #

  16. Looks good. I am voting yes.

    Comment by Butchie — 7:14 pm April 25, 2014 #

  17. Hey guess what everyone!!??? SEATTLE PASSED PROP 1.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 7:40 pm April 25, 2014 #

  18. Why do the idiots who keep bungling the Metro service continue to suggest voter propositions which have no chance of passing? You’ve been wasting money for decades of poor Metro decisions and choices, and now you’re going to correct that by wasting BOTH time AND money ??? !!!!

    The idiots at the top of Metro should be where the service cuts begin in huge chunks.

    Comment by 35th avenue — 7:40 pm April 25, 2014 #

  19. Individual citizens should not be deciding on issues like buses and road construction. This is for our elected officials to decide. If they abdicate their responsibility to do their job, it then becomes out job to vote them out of office.

    Putting bus service up for a general election is a clear abdication of their responsibilities under the US and State Constitutions and our job is now clear. Our local and state officials need to be voted out.

    This country was formed as a representative democracy. If we didn’t like the way a particular elected official voted, we got rid of them in the next election for someone else. Asking citizens to decide on these issues, without complete knowledge of the facts, is a recipe for nothing getting done.

    The idea that individual citizens will have all the information available to make decisions on how we should invest in our future from an infrastructure standpoint and be forward looking is absurd.

    If this continues to be the way we decide on spending issues, Seattle and Washington State and our nation as a whole will fall behind and not be competitive with the rest of the world.

    Deliberate government bodies, whose job it is to come to consensus and decide what is best for our state, this is what we should be striving for.

    If civil rights in 1964 was to be decided the way bus service has been decided in Seattle, there would be no Civil Rights Act of 1964. That took the US Congress to make happen, not a populous vote.

    Step aside citizens and let the local and state elected offices make these decisions. If you do not agree with how they handled it, then we have the absolute right to elect them the heck out of office. This is the way our system was set up and it has proven to be the best system of government in the entire world.

    Comment by Dan — 7:42 pm April 25, 2014 #

  20. Before the more conservative voters reflexively make up their minds, let me make this point: Voting “no” = worse commute between W. Seattle & downtown = lower W. Seattle property values. So think about how much you’re saving ($60 / car) vs say even 1% drop in value of your home.

    Comment by Marcus M — 7:51 pm April 25, 2014 #

  21. How does this idea sound ?. Please don’t get me wrong, I do not mind funding Metro. But I just don’t want to fund it more with my main reason seeing all the money that Metro wasted on hi tec fancy bus shelters and other things I have seen and also bringing the roads out into the street. If they were low on money why spend our tax dollars. I was thinking (scary thought) but why not have Metro start their own lottery. Maybe a dollar a ticket with 50% of all money going to Metro and the other 50% going to large cash prizes and maybe month and free year passes. Just a idea.

    Comment by Max — 8:16 pm April 25, 2014 #

  22. Marcus
    Are You kidding? Commute times from Issaquah and Bellevue are twice as bad, Have you seen the prop. values there? ( You are Grasping )

    Comment by D.D.S. — 8:20 pm April 25, 2014 #

  23. interesting that none of the ‘no’ commenters so far seem to understand that this initiative is being proposed by a citizen group, not the county council or the city council…

    Comment by metrognome — 8:28 pm April 25, 2014 #

  24. @Marcus – Spot on.
    *
    @Dan – Here’s a dilemma. The people who we voted for and represent us are 100% for transportation funding (McDermott, Fitzgibbon and McDermott). There are factions of our State (and County) governments that are 100% against us in Seattle. How can you possibly want to put more power in their hands? Power to the People! The real danger is when people vote because they are ignorant of what they are voting for (like Initiative 695 driven by Citizen Tim Eyman) or what they don’t understand. The responsibility of the People is to fully question and vet things you don’t understand.
    *
    The level of fear for personal interests being somehow compromised by voting for something that helps your neighbors is absolutely disgusting. Especially in West Seattle where we are trapped on this Peninsula. And I generally think is a pretty friendly place. West Seattle should have been a 100% vote here, not the 53% that it got. I am so disheartened and upset by all the comments I have been reading on the Blog for the past few days. If you have any ideas that are better than a sustainable, progressive tax funding source that this Initiative brings, I personally invite you to our May 13th West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 8:29 pm April 25, 2014 #

  25. For the record, no one in Seattle rejected anything with the last vote on Prop 1 this week. It passed easily 66% in favor on a car tabs, which usually is a hard sell. Traditionally property taxes in Seattle do even better. So no, the CITY rejected nothing. COUNTY and SUBURB voters killed Prop 1. Their views and votes are irrelevant in THIS election. If Prop 1 was Seattle only it was passed.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 8:34 pm April 25, 2014 #

  26. Seriously — I’m curious. Do any of you who say the last vote failed even know it passed in the city? Even in West Seattle — 53% in favor YES. 66% citywide YES. As high as 79% voted YES in some areas. Seattle absolutely did not reject Prop 1 and any claim otherwise is completely wrong… for the record.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 8:37 pm April 25, 2014 #

  27. Hey JonP, you don’t want to help pay for services that others use? Don’t live in a city.
    .
    Hey Lar, Metro has been thoroughly audited and many cost-saving measures have already been put into place. Or do you just ignorantly assume that if government is doing something it’s wasting money? Also, the bus bulbs were part of the federal grant that paid for Rapid Ride. So you can’t count that as a waste of local funds.
    .
    And all you who are blaming “the union”, do you even have any idea what you’re talking about? Since when is the state legislature’s failure to properly fund public transit the fault of the hardworking people that operate it? Blaming the workers will eventually come back to bite you in your own employment situation, whether it be making a living wage, having health benefits, being able to retire, or having affordable healthcare. If you voted “NO” because of Metro employees, you are very selfish and short-sighted indeed. EVERYONE benefits from the gains of union workers, and EVERYONE benefits from public transit, whether they ride it or not.
    .
    And finally, did you miss the part about funding for road improvements because you were too Tim Eyman-y to vote for any tax increase whatsoever, even if it would benefit you and your single-occupant gas-guzzling commuter palace on wheels? Or were you perfectly willing to shoot yourself in the foot because you didn’t like your last experience on a Metro bus and you don’t give a damn about your neighbors who ride the bus every day?

    Comment by KBear — 8:42 pm April 25, 2014 #

  28. I think a better approach would be to have a levy on commercial properties to generate additional revenues for Metro. For the large part, passengers are using Metro to get to work or to conduct business (shoping etc.) in those properties. So it is ultimately in the interest of the building owners to have a mass transit system that provides access to those properties. They could determine how much of that to pass on to tenants who in turn could increase their prices as they see fit. I’m not sure but I think that might classified as a special levy which would take a 60% vote to pass. Just seems odd that the business community has been exempted from the various proposals when it is the real beneficiary of efficient, affordable mass transit.

    Comment by JTB — 8:42 pm April 25, 2014 #

  29. No.

    Comment by Jeannie — 8:48 pm April 25, 2014 #

  30. The way King County is dealing with the no vote, it seems like we are being threatened/punished by having bus service cut and property taxes going up (I know its a vote but they will try and punish us). I can only look at this like a threat. Just think how much more it is going to cost us tax payers with the Bertha fiasco, I won’t go off on the whole stupidity of that idea. When I was a kid in grade school in the 60′s if I felt like I was being threatened or punished I dealt with it and stayed friends with them. I wonder if it is time for the tax payers that are getting ripped off by a government that is out of control and threatens for how we vote. I am all for growth, but managed growth is what we need. Over growth in to short of a time period caused this and every area I look I see over growth. Our taxes go up and quality of living goes down. I wonder how I could get a peaceful revolution stated to try save our city from this out of control over growth? Just saying, Love you all, Max

    Comment by Max — 8:55 pm April 25, 2014 #

  31. $200 more a year for nothing, with home values only going up. Metro is so inefficient and needs to be completely overhauled.

    Comment by this is ridiculous — 8:55 pm April 25, 2014 #

  32. Typical Seattle people. I will vote no again and again until metro cuts costs other than reduce routes.

    Comment by joe — 8:58 pm April 25, 2014 #

  33. We’ll this one will go down quicker than the last one. Raise fares not taxes for people who do not use the service.

    Comment by chris — 9:13 pm April 25, 2014 #

  34. WSB:
    Why do you allow personal direct attacks in these threads? They have been going on throughout all the topics related to this issue:
    e.g.:
    KBear: “And finally, did you miss the part about funding for road improvements because you were too Tim Eyman-y to vote for any tax increase whatsoever, even if it would benefit you and your single-occupant gas-guzzling commuter palace on wheels?”

    Comment by Ray — 9:19 pm April 25, 2014 #

  35. Chris, if you drive a car anywhere in Seattle, you’re taking advantage of the Metro bus service that takes hundreds of other cars off the road and out of your way. If you want to do something about the remaining traffic jam, I would suggest you vote in favor of public transit next time.

    Comment by KBear — 9:30 pm April 25, 2014 #

  36. I second what JTB said. Levy a tax on commercial property owners for Metro. Especially on the ones that don’t provide adequate parking for tenants.

    Comment by Elisabeth — 9:40 pm April 25, 2014 #

  37. Hopefully this expedites the future of light rail to West Seattle.

    .

    Sound Transit has buses, why can’t they take over the routes that Metro is cutting?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 9:59 pm April 25, 2014 #

  38. I like the idea of Seattle having some say over route management. I’d be happier if we could take back the whole system as it was before Metro.
    I have no problem whatsoever paying for Seattle only routes. If we leave the city it is by car anyway.

    Comment by dsa — 10:24 pm April 25, 2014 #

  39. All-

    So what if Seattle voted for the tax increase. Metro is a King County problem child. A pox upon their house until real reforms are implemented. I am sure that the non-Seattle residents in KC are happy that you all are volunteering the rest of us to foot the bill.

    Comment by Danno — 10:45 pm April 25, 2014 #

  40. Already by the first comment it’s “renters vs owners”. You know that landlords are going to have to pay this tax too, right? And that they’re going to pass it along to renters?

    Everyone who lives in Seattle is going to end up paying this. Not just homeowners.

    Comment by lph — 10:46 pm April 25, 2014 #

  41. wow…@Joe, @Danno..how specifically do you want to see Metro overhauled? Don’t just say that’s what you want…give exact things to be done. Don’t just say cut the pay of drivers…give us numbers. What specifically should be done to make it better, more efficient, more busses, and less costs?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.

    Comment by JanS — 12:31 am April 26, 2014 #

  42. This is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a while. As written, it would not be legal. The city and the county are two distinct entities without authority over each other’s spend.

    Comment by Umm — 12:39 am April 26, 2014 #

  43. How about you take the 164mil your spending on new flyer buses this year and fund your routes with that?? what about all the new hoopla with new bus stop signage and booths do we really need that?? why do they have to be replaced every couple years?? because its trendy and pretty its a bus stop people!!! if you guys could cut some of your hog fat spending perhaps you would have the funds available?? instead you threaten and intimidate joe public for handouts like panhandlers at Westwood!! do your job and save wisely like we do and perhaps the public would be more sincere giving next time?? perhaps you should go visit the ford factory and take notes on how they run things..I’m tired of slacker governments and corporations running themselves into the ground and then wanting us to bail em out whens it gonna end??

    Comment by VanillaGorilla — 1:46 am April 26, 2014 #

  44. I’ll vote and pay for light rail. Not for busses. Seattle is growing enough that we need to get serious about real transit.

    Comment by Person — 7:26 am April 26, 2014 #

  45. Sounds like more class warfare to get a vote through.

    Similar to Romney’s comments regarding a floor of 47% support for Democrats due to the welfare state, why on earth wouldn’t transit riders – who are primarily renters – vote to raise MY taxes?

    This is how all measures will be funded going forward – pitting the “greedy” middle class against the masses. We don’t have the votes to counter this type of thing.

    And yes, some of the increase will get “passed along” to renters, but not all.

    Comment by Smitty — 7:34 am April 26, 2014 #

  46. all those concerned should immediately begin either A) sending their cash to metro directly, or B) perhaps start a kickstarter fundraiser for poor lil metro. either way, please take your hand off my wallet…

    Comment by flimflam — 7:53 am April 26, 2014 #

  47. Put me down as a yes vote.

    Comment by Mike — 7:54 am April 26, 2014 #

  48. Tagging this finical subsidy to property ownership is asinine and I’ll working to defeat it. The market value of my home has nothing to do with my cash flow or income. Spread the burden around and cut some waste and I’m onboard.

    Comment by PDieter — 7:58 am April 26, 2014 #

  49. I think $88/yr seams pretty reasonable. Metro has to be funded somehow and if you look at their funding history it has gotten funding through various means ie grants, federal/state gov etc. I know it seems metro is having funding issues and it is easy to blame it on mismanagement but the fault is due to te economy. Half of metros funding is dependent from sales taxes and when the economy went down so did their budget. They have been making cuts and seeking other funding through grants or the congestion fund etc. if you go to metros website they lay it all out :

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/

    I am a west Seattle owner and I will vote yes!

    Comment by E — 8:06 am April 26, 2014 #

  50. No, the bus system is already mismanaged and they blew millions on Rapid Ride which is a total joke already. I will vote not purely on the fact that they can’t manage money as is. Why would I give them more? As a home owner, I am a bit annoyed that I’d be paying for somebody renting a place that I already dislike being built by developers who have their hands in the pockets of our council members (past mayor included). So, no. I don’t hand out money to people on the street, I don’t hand out money to kids, they can’t manage money, just like the city and King County. The system needs an overhaul and until they start bringing legitimate ideas to the table first, I won’t be giving them my money. How about investing in a hydrogen infrastructure to fuel new buses that will not pollute and cost less to fuel, thus having potential recovery of fueling costs over the years? How about park and rides in Seattle, so people will actually have a way to get on the routes that are left from the route cuts?

    .

    Until they actually put some real ideas out with budgets needed to fund them, NO!

    Comment by Mike — 8:36 am April 26, 2014 #

  51. When Metro raises fares, I’ll consider voting yes. Until then, no. I guess all the new tax exempted properties won’t be paying their fair share for ten years either. Renters and new ‘low cost’ construction won’t be paying full price while homeowners are left to pay the bill.

    Comment by Civik — 8:41 am April 26, 2014 #

  52. @Civik – good news for you, Metro raised fares 80% over the last few years, and will raise them again next March. So I trust you feel good now about voting yes!

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:30 am April 26, 2014 #

  53. @Mike “the bus system is already mismanaged”
    @35th Avenue “Why do the idiots who keep bungling the Metro service”.
    .
    Good news, Metro has been audited and improved efficiency on the last few years. Drivers didn’t get an increase one year, and no COLA increase for several others. 100 management positions were eliminated. Many operational efficiency improvements were made. I hope you can consider voting yes, or make some specific suggestions for further improvements.
    .
    @chris “Raise fares not taxes for people who do not use the service.”
    .
    Again, fares have been increased vastly over the rate of inflation and will go up again next year. This whole “raise fares” issue seems to be one that some no voter cling to, despite that fact that it already being done.
    .

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:38 am April 26, 2014 #

  54. When are the anti’s of the same, longtime user names going to stop beating the dead horse(s)?

    .

    Fares: Have increased, incrementally over probably the last six years or so, by nearly double.

    .

    Rapid Rise: Was FEDERAL Money, SPECIFIED for BRT.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:44 am April 26, 2014 #

  55. miws: I’m also wondering why people are attributing this initiative to Seattle City Council. The city council cannot file citizens’ initiatives, any more than they can propose COUNTY ballot measures or pass STATE legislation. Yet somehow this situation is their fault. I’m sure someone will be along in a minute to tell me exactly how…

    Comment by datamuse — 10:21 am April 26, 2014 #

  56. I’ll be voting NO, as many times as it takes.

    Comment by Bus Hater — 10:27 am April 26, 2014 #

  57. Just as soon as some of the other property tax levies piled on my back are removed (including but not limited to Bridging the Gap, Libraries, Schools, Parks, etc…..)I will vote YES. Until then I will continue to vote NO on every property tax levy proposed. Enough is enough. How long can you continue to pile on Seattle property tax owners to fund every issue proposed? I find the continuing property tax levies completely at odds with the loud compliant Seattle is not affordable. Or is there an idea that if you own property in Seattle you can afford anything?

    Here’s a thought, all these developers building on bus lines and not having to provide parking can pay for Metro shortfalls.

    Comment by KT — 11:40 am April 26, 2014 #

  58. @Moose2, If we’re talking a full dollar and not some silly 25c increase, then you might be on the right track.

    Comment by Civik — 12:00 pm April 26, 2014 #

  59. Get rid of the bus bulbs and completely eliminate or at least allow car pools in the bus only lanes, then I MIGHT consider voting yes. Regarding the Rapid Ride – I understand they were bought with federal money, but a friend who rides them say they are some uncomfortable, she always gets a back ache. This city had become unlivable. Oh yes, and I will raise rent for an equal amount on my rental property.

    Comment by ByeBye — 3:45 pm April 26, 2014 #

  60. miws, it’s not that clear cut and it’s not all federal dollars. Even if it was, it was horribly managed funds in millions of dollars.
    .
    “Funding for RapidRide

    Learn more about Transit Now
    Voters launched RapidRide when they passed the Transit Now initiative in November 2006. Some Transit Now funding for RapidRide comes from the sales tax in King County, and some comes from special partnerships with cities, employers, and other organizations that will benefit from RapidRide service.

    More recently, Metro has been successful in obtaining state and federal grants to help fund the program.
    In Seattle, the Bridging the Gap initiative, passed in November 2006, will help fund traffic signal and roadway improvements. These modifications are critical to improving transit travel times and schedule reliability.”
    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/travel-options/bus/rapidride/

    Comment by Mike — 3:47 pm April 26, 2014 #

  61. If you guys think that Light Rail or the Monorail is making it over to West Seattle, you are dreaming. But your tax dollars will pay for everything else in the city except a better public transit system to get in & out of West Seattle.

    Comment by Alki Warrior — 4:36 pm April 26, 2014 #

  62. God, I hope I can get the hell out of this messed up city. I will not pay for a service that is so disorganized. How about raising the bus fair to a realistic price instead of going after property owners. Does this really make sense when there are likely far more renters that us the bus than home owners? Secondly, King Co. Metro employees are soo damn overpaid for a non-technical, no education required job…what B.S.

    Comment by Dan — 5:18 pm April 26, 2014 #

  63. I will vote for this. It increases my home value to have a bus nearby to get to downtown. And it also increases the value of my home to have less traffic congestion on the west seattle bridge.

    Comment by Lesley — 5:57 pm April 26, 2014 #

  64. Any possibility Sound Transit buses could increase their service to replace deleted Metro routes?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 6:33 pm April 26, 2014 #

  65. Before Metro KC, there was the Seattle Transit System. Looks like Metro KC is having the issues that Seattle Transit System had back in the 60′s. Anyone want to catch the 15 to West Seattle? http://www.mehva.org/bus0598.html

    Comment by Mike — 7:48 pm April 26, 2014 #

  66. It seems to Me that along with higher wages ,
    Transportation has become an entitlement.

    Comment by D.D.S — 8:12 pm April 26, 2014 #

  67. call me stupid BUT please explain this friends of transit….first you state sales tax funds transit and you state since downturn of economy sales tax revenue is less. OKAY let’s believe that for a minute. BUT then at the end you state that Seattle is growing – SO….that means MORE people and MORE people spending money and MORE sales tax revenue…..and I also read that if this passes and the state issues a separate transportation package then THIS new tax still stands in place and the city can then do what they want with the money…..let’s not forget unemployment in Seattle is very close to 5%. That is considered FULL employment by economists. and IF the economy is in such dire straits as friends of transit want you to believe then what makes them think the citizens have extra money to spend on increased property taxes? AND one more…let’s not forget the upcoming increase for the parks department funding. YES that would be 2 property tax increases in 3 months.

    Comment by joel — 9:26 pm April 26, 2014 #

  68. Sounds like many out there have expendable cash. How bout a giant donation box, and donate what you will. Write it off later, then the feds can give a donation credit.

    Comment by taxed out — 10:35 pm April 26, 2014 #

  69. First. Metro is screwed up and throwing good money after bad is not wise. However, I am SICK of home owners saying that renters should have no input on property tax measures. Property taxes are widely used as an excuse to raise our rent because the property owners have to recoup those additional costs from us!!! I would argue we often get stuck with MORE in property taxes secondhand than some home owners. And go ahead and raise metro rates. It then becomes more economical to buy a car, take up your parking spaces, crowd up your commute, and increase your pollution. Metro needs to clean up but don’t you dare say renters and bus commuters should somehow be more responsible for metro costs than drivers and home owners. You benefit just as much in different ways from public transit.

    Comment by Fregirl — 5:49 am April 27, 2014 #

  70. yes vote=rent increase.

    Comment by steve — 8:48 am April 27, 2014 #

  71. “I would argue we often get stuck with MORE in property taxes secondhand than some home owners”
    .
    Fregirl, you paid $3,500+ in property tax last year in your apartment? Wow, that’s amazing. BTW, $3,500 is for a house with a 2013 tax assessment of $329k. Best of luck finding a house around here that cheap that’s as big as your apartment. $329k King County assessment is about $420k market value.

    Comment by Mike — 9:15 am April 27, 2014 #

  72. Because it doesnt ALREADY cost a buttload of money to live here and own property in the city limmits. Taxing is out of control. There is enough funding, its just not being properly allocated which is historcally the elephant in the room!

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 9:40 am April 27, 2014 #

  73. The bus fare is low to encourage ridership, reduce emissions, and diminish traffic. If bus fare is raised too high no one would ride the bus…this is a public service to our community.

    Comment by E — 10:29 am April 27, 2014 #

  74. I can’t back any initiative that lets the King County Executive AND Council off the hook. Let’s say that Metro Transit actually *has* been made more efficient, the useless middle-management cut and even the union has helped out on costs. [Dunno if I *believe* that, but just for the sake of argument....] Does anyone here REALLY believe that the same can be said for King County government at large? There’s absolutely NO waste, fraud and nonsensical spending that can be redirected to at least mitigate (if not eliminate) the Metro service cuts? I call B.S. on that.
    .
    It’s also a matter of priorities. How many times have we had to pass this or that taxing measure just to keep 911 or Medic 1 service? What sense does that make? Public safety services should be the number one priority in King County government expenditures, not inflating building projects with some nutball “1% for art” requirement, or keeping that roaming blight so charmingly referred to as a “tent city” afloat! We cannot take Dow Constantine and Co. off of the hot seat for these cuts. I’m sure they feel quite safe in their jobs right now as none of them appear to be up for election this fall, so we need to work on having long memories for this massive failure of management and responsibility. We elect representatives in this country to deal with problems that we all have but can’t do as efficiently on our own, or don’t have the time or expertise. When those representatives can’t or won’t do their jobs, they MUST be replaced by people who can and will.

    Comment by DarkHawke — 12:48 pm April 27, 2014 #

  75. I REALLY wish people would educate themselves before opening their mouth or typing — much less voting — when they clearly do not understand how things work around here.
    .
    And I’m sorry if it’s all confusing or lacks common sense, but voting NO or not participating doesn’t make things clearer. You’ll have to actually get involved.
    .
    Here’s a few facts, though:
    .
    1) We keep having votes and property tax levies because of the Tim Eyman initiative everyone passed years ago that limits the “natural growth” of the tax base of any government in our state to 1% a year. Please note, that’s less than inflation, which means less money to spend every year on the same services, much less service for the increasing population.
    .
    2) We have separate pots of money here. Gas taxes can ONLY be used for roads (and ferries) under our state constitution. You’re not paying for anything else with your gas, no matter how hight those taxes are.
    .
    3) Bus fares have increased 80% in 4 years.
    .
    4) Two independent audits of Metro since 2008 have led to MANY improvements, cost cutting, and efficiencies.
    .
    5) You can’t complain that buses should run directly everywhere and serve lots of neighborhoods, but also complain that you see some buses with only a few riders on them; similarly, you can’t complain that the bus should be available if you stay late after work or have an early morning doctor appointment or on Sundays, and then complain that some buses only have a few riders at off-peak times.
    .
    6) Finally, cutting “peak” buses isn’t a punishment or mismanagement. Running “peak” buses is the MOST EXPENSIVE service in the system.

    Comment by Mickymse — 4:31 pm April 27, 2014 #

  76. A no view home in West Seattle, 2 bedrooms, one bath, 1,000 square feet, is assessed 4k in KC property taxes. Must be my @1967 laminate counters that make it so valuable.

    Comment by tax reality — 5:32 pm April 27, 2014 #

  77. I haven’t been here for a decade yet (getting there!) but is there a reason we don’t have a city transportation system, and it’s run by the county? The city would collect these new taxes but funnel them to a county entity? Or, as the wording on the site says “buy” hours from KC Metro. Is that common for other services, or is this unique? Wondering if people would be more willing to fund if it was a city entity, rather than a county entity. Seems many distrust the county more than the city?

    Comment by K — 8:33 pm April 27, 2014 #

  78. K, there used to be a city run mass transit system called the Seattle Transit System. It was so poorly mismanaged that Metro took over in it’s place. History just keeps repeating itself, but this time it’s KC Metro that’s mismanaged.
    .
    “Two independent audits of Metro since 2008 have led to MANY improvements, cost cutting, and efficiencies” Audits are apparently not doing the job. Even if they cut more employees, it won’t fix the real issue which is mismanaging millions of dollars in taxes and grants. That requires a complete overhaul of the system, most likely another takeover by another entity to change how it’s managed from the top down. The audits have apparently not improved efficiency enough to make them realize the wasted money spent on Rapid Ride and the fact that even if they cut the freeride zone and increased the fees per ride it still cannot be self sustaining. 80% increase in fees is a fraction of the increase in fuel costs. Metro gets a cut rate on diesel fuel, it’s less than what you see at the pump, but it’s still more than 300% more than a decade ago. 80% increase in fees is not even close to cutting it close. $10 per ride, that’ll get close. Want to see what you’re going to be paying… here http://www.bart.gov/tickets/calculator that’ll give you an idea. Some people are paying upwards of $15 a day to use the BART

    Comment by Mike — 9:27 pm April 27, 2014 #

  79. I love how Dow, a fellow native WS’er, doesn’t do anything to stand up for our deteriorating neighborhood, increase in crime, and future perma-traffic. Why do we elect these cronies?

    Comment by T — 9:40 pm April 27, 2014 #

  80. Interesting, thanks Mike! I used to ride Bart daily for work and it was really fantastic, loved Muni too. Wish we could have a similar system here, but I don’t see that happening–not just from the financial/management perspective, but the infrastructure too.

    Comment by K — 8:34 am April 28, 2014 #

  81. I think the bus fares need to be raised 50 cents. Then there needs to be Metro security doing serious ride checks and ticketing people who don’t pay, and kicking them off the bus. Serious fare enforcement will work, I would say only 1/2 people probably pay their fares now and with fare enforcement metro will not have too many money problems.Metro security needs to get out of their cars and onto the buses for serious fare checks.
    I also agree with the person that said we need to vote the city council people out, the king county council out, and our state legislatures out. It is their jobs to come up with the solutions to all of these problems, but they pass it off their backs to ours! Vote them out.

    Comment by Jan — 9:37 pm April 28, 2014 #

  82. 1/2 of people pay their fares…based on what? Your guess? I’ve ridden the bus off and on in this county for nearly 15 years and I assure you that isn’t true.

    I have a car and a modest home in south Delridge, so either way my wallet is on the line, but I’d vote no for a property tax. Why? It’s the wrong group to fund this service.

    The original measure (that I voted for) was insensitive and poorly timed. Metro is giving low income individuals a break on fare with or without the revenue and it’s going to cost 7 million dollars to fund and administer. I realize Metro needs the funds now, but it would have gone over better if the subsidy were already in place and if it had included incremental tab increases. $20 to $60 is a pretty big hike and I saw people in the county bristle pretty severely over it. (Especially since the message I saw led the viewer to believe it was a $60 increase when in fact it was replacing an expiring $20 tax for a net gain of $40. )

    Comment by Christina — 12:05 am April 29, 2014 #

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