— Transport Coalition (@WSTCoalition) May 13, 2014
9:59 AM: “This is a crisis and we’re responding to the crisis,” is how Mayor Ed Murray described the proposal he’s just made public about how to raise money in Seattle to keep Metro Transit from cutting Seattle service:
The approximately $45 million is revenue to preserve metro will be allocated in the following ways: pic.twitter.com/i0xvVmRFTv
— SEA Mayor's Office (@OfficeofMayor) May 13, 2014
$60 car-tab fee plus 0.01% sales tax increase is the same mix that comprised Proposition 1, which, while rejected countywide, was approved by a strong majority of Seattle voters, as was mentioned repeatedly during the briefing just concluded. Here is a one-pager from the mayor’s office, breaking down the new proposal:
During the briefing at City Hall, the mayor was flanked by West Seattleites – County Executive Dow Constantine (whose Monday announcement paved the way for this) and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – and surrounded by more than a dozen other local political, community, and business leaders. Rasmussen explained that this will be considered as a “transportation benefit district,” as was Prop 1. It’s expected to be on the November ballot.
Murray described the tax proposal as a temporary solution. How temporary? he was asked: “They will last as long as there is no other source.”
How will it be ensured that Seattle dollars stay in Seattle? The mayor said, “There will be a ‘no supplant’ clause,” which will require that the county does not route the money elsewhere. Constantine followed up by declaring: “The answer is because, that’s the deal.” Added detail from the one-pager above:
Under this plan, King County Metro would collaborate with the City of Seattle to finalize use of funds and recognize the City’s authority to allocate funds, while the City recognizes the need to honor Metro’s Service Guidelines with flexibility to address specific demands.
And potentially of high interest here in West Seattle, where development projects are being approved without parking because of their proximity to transit that might or might not be available into the future, the mayor said he would create a new area of SDOT focused on transit as it relates to increasing density in the city.
As noted previously, if you have questions about this or other Seattle transportation/transit issues, you have a great chance to get answers by being at tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way).
ADDED 10:54 AM: The official news release is here. It does not include details of the SDOT/transit/development point that the mayor mentioned, so we are following up with his staff to get details on that.