FOLLOWUP: ‘Access for All’ sales tax will be on August 1st ballot

As a result of a 7-2 King County Council vote tonight, the “Access for All” tenth-of-a-percent sales-tax increase is headed for the August 1st ballot. This comes two months after King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the proposal to the council, which at one point mulled shelving it. If approved by voters, it will add one penny of tax to every $10 you spend in King County, and that is expected to raise $67 million a year for about 350 arts, science, and heritage organizations, as described in the original announcement. County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council, is a co-sponsor of the proposal; tonight’s two “no” votes were Councilmembers Larry Gossett and Dave Upthegrove.

38 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 'Access for All' sales tax will be on August 1st ballot"

  • rob May 1, 2017 (8:11 pm)

     really i bet the lower income who are just trying to get by and just after getingt hit with largde tax hit are just so happy that they get to cough up even more money. You see seattle people the rich can afford this but the problem is there are more regular people out there just getting hammered with all these tax hikes

    • Diane May 1, 2017 (9:10 pm)

      this program is to make art, science, heritage accessible for “lower income who are just trying to get by”, but I’d like to know what were issues of concern that would cause Larry Gossett to vote no

      • Alex May 1, 2017 (9:59 pm)

        Sales tax disproportionately targets the poor.., to help the poor? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. 

        Helping the poor poor is great, but find a better funding source than regressive sales taxes.

        • Diane May 2, 2017 (1:53 am)

          I agree; using a regressive sales tax that hurts low income, to pay for services to help low income, not at all logical

  • ernieusafret May 1, 2017 (8:51 pm)



  • New Thinking Needed May 1, 2017 (8:57 pm)

    Dear Rob,

    I am a Seattle person but certainly not rich! I get by on under $58,000 gross per year with over $5000 going towards property tax. Ouch! You can count on me to vote no for this.

  • Diane May 1, 2017 (8:59 pm)

    do we know the reasons for Councilmembers Larry Gossett and Dave Upthegrove. voting no?  I watched most of the first presentation on this at KCC, but only saw part of it today

    • WSB May 1, 2017 (9:20 pm)

      While I watched today’s city council meetings, I wasn’t able to watch the county council meeting, so this information is from news releases sent this evening (only one of which even identified the two CMs who voted no, and did not quote either). Times story posted less than an hour ago has this:

      Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Larry Gossett opposed the measure, questioning whether the arts are the highest priority in the region and whether the 34 best-funded organizations in the county, such as the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Symphony, would get the most funding.

      “Why do the people who least need government money always get the most?” Gossett asked.

      • Diane May 2, 2017 (2:06 am)

        thanks, that’s very helpful; I’m a bit surprised Kathy Lambert voted yes; she was very concerned about her rural/small town constituents getting anything out of this; and today, the little part I saw of KCC, one of the elephant advocates was arguing that the zoo shouldn’t be getting any $, after sending off the beloved elephants who all died within months; I only got to see the full detailed version of first presentation at KCC, and it was VERY complicated; which means it will likely be just as confusing on the ballot, and most will likely vote yes, just because “Access for All” has such a feel good ring to it; most voters never dig into the details

      • Double Dub Resident May 2, 2017 (5:44 am)

        Well I think we need another giant eraser

  • Diane May 1, 2017 (9:16 pm)

    there is already a national program, Museums for All, which I discovered early March while looking at ticket prices for MOHAI; the Museums for All price is only $2 with EBT card, while the regular admission of $19.95 is way too high for most who are low income; fantastic program; I’m wondering if Dow/Joe are reinventing the wheel with this new Access for All?  why don’t we instead work on getting more local museums to participate in Museums for All?

    • TheKing May 1, 2017 (10:06 pm)

      The first Thursday of each month there are a number of museums with free admission also. 

      • Diane May 2, 2017 (2:09 am)

        yes, love it; I’ve utilized the free 1st Thursday at museums for years

    • KM May 2, 2017 (12:51 pm)

      Seattle Public Libraries also offers free museum tickets.        

  • millie May 1, 2017 (9:49 pm)

    Yet another tax to be paid by the “purported wealthy” to help the  “low-income”.   What happens when we all become low-income as a result of the ad nauseam  levies/taxes?   Who will provide us with the ability to attend cultural events?    As with the continued discussion of affordable housing and helping the homeless,  has anyone actually surveyed, compiled  and produced an unbiased report relative to the actual dollars/programs currently available and accessible to/by the targeted population?  

    Can’t help but agree with Diane questioning why are Councilmembers Gossett and Upthegrove opposing the measure?   This information could be enlightening.

    Being “progressive” does not necessarily equate to being “fiscally foolish”.   Until our elected officials can show me they are “diligent” in their financial expenditures and new revenue requests, I will be voting NO.

    • Diane May 2, 2017 (2:15 am)

      actually, this is sales tax, paid by everyone; not just “purported wealthy” to help the  “low-income”; everyone has to buy stuff, and pay sales tax; and I think we may now have the highest sales tax in the country

  • WS Guy May 1, 2017 (10:13 pm)

    I vote no.  Sorry, taxed out.

  • West Seattle Hipster May 2, 2017 (5:01 am)


  • anonyme May 2, 2017 (6:31 am)

    The only tax that makes sense is an income tax that simultaneously and substantially lowers the sales tax.  I think the arts are important to society, but this approach is just nonsensical.

  • Tim May 2, 2017 (6:51 am)


  • Mike May 2, 2017 (6:52 am)

    If we didn’t give away the cow to corporations in Seattle, the citizens would not need to keep paying more in taxes.  There are so many tax incentives for corporations it’s insane and most are multi-billion dollar corporations that hand out millions in bonuses to their executives for layoffs to match numbers needed to keep their stock skyrocketing at insane rates.  

  • 56bricks May 2, 2017 (6:56 am)

    I need a new tax to pay for my Hawks,M’s and concert tickets.  Just can’t afford ’em anymore,ya know. Cultural enlightenment and all that good stuff. But I’m still voting no.

  • Mark Schletty May 2, 2017 (7:40 am)

    If this passes it will because it is being voted on in August, instead of November. All the strong supporters will vote, and the rest will have a very low turn out. Politicians know this. There is no reason to vote on this in August instead of November other than it is a lot easier to get it passed. All levy votes should be forced to be on general election days.

    • West Seattle Hipster May 2, 2017 (9:44 am)

      Bingo, you sir are correct.  Just a sneaky way for them to get these frivolous tax increases passed.

    • sb2780 May 2, 2017 (9:50 pm)

      Can someone explain why these levies are allowed via special ballot? Why aren’t they required to be voted on during the general election in November? It seems inefficient to vote on all these measures piecemeal throughout the year.

      • WSB May 2, 2017 (10:10 pm)

        August 1st is not a special ballot. It’s the regularly scheduled primary.

  • JN May 2, 2017 (8:39 am)

    That’ll be a no for me as well. 

  • AntF72 May 2, 2017 (9:27 am)

    10 cents on a $100?

    One dollar on every thousand? 

    This hardly seems like it would make an impact on personal spending. I’m sure what you’re rejecting is the idea of tax but this reminds me of people who were furious about the 5 cent grocery bags. There are so many things to be upset about and do something about. Less words, more action – you’ll feel better! 

    • Mark Schletty May 2, 2017 (11:26 am)

      This is the same argument always used- it isn’t really all that much. It won’t break you. In, and of, itself that’s true. But it’s the accumulation of one after another that kills us. Over half of the city and county taxes we pay are now due to these special levies,  etc.. It has to stop. The politicians are safely avoiding the main thing they are supposed to do- prioritize spending within a budget.

    • Jake from State Farm May 2, 2017 (10:47 pm)

      “Oh it’s just a whaffer thin  mint Mr. Creosote”

  • Marty McFly May 2, 2017 (10:35 am)


  • Insanadu May 2, 2017 (12:17 pm)

    We’ve got an epidemic of unsheltered people, living in piles of garbage with no sanitation. Seattle government has spent tens of millions of dollars of our tax money “fixing” that situation, without major impact. Now they want new tax dollars to make museums more accessible to the poor. Does no one see the twisted irony here? Who came up with this program, Marie Antoinette?

  • Marty McFly May 2, 2017 (4:06 pm)

    I see the Mayor & Company want’s a income tax.

    I think the only way we can stop them is by voting…,them out of office.

  • Paul May 2, 2017 (5:55 pm)

    I regularly support tax increases but will also be voting no for many of the reasons listed above. Please vote no!

  • Tired of taxes May 2, 2017 (7:58 pm)

    I say if you’re gonna tax then tax everyone. Let the poor feel the pain too. I’m tired of being a target of higher taxes because I worked hard to get where I am. 

  • Jake from State Farm May 2, 2017 (11:02 pm)

    Where does our friend from the Seattle city council stand on this issue?

    Could she come save the day….?  Tune in next week to find out……or the week after that…

  • Ellipses May 3, 2017 (9:29 am)

    Tired of Taxes, where on earth did you ever get the idea that only the wealthy worked hard to get where they are?  You need to get out more.

  • TM May 4, 2017 (5:57 pm)

    Just say no to this tax stupidity

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