Everybody knows that King County's got a little budget problem, though if you listen to the executive candidates talk, you'd get the feeling that $50 million can be covered just by being more efficient. Taxes, of course, are pretty much out of the question, and the most painful cuts being proposed are to Seely's beloved maritime transit. In short, as always, they're promising the moon.
You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!
Meanwhile, Interim Exec/non-candidate Kurt Triplett has to propose a budget to the Council. Apparently, he's finding $50 million in increased efficiencies a little harder to come by. Instead, he'll ask voters to raise their sales tax a tenth of a percent to raise $50 million for public health, human services, law enforcement, and city budgets. Under the assumption that voters will turn it down, he'll plan the cuts anyway. (Among the hatchet victims will be all parks in unincorporated King County.) The next year, he warns, the deficit's supposed to be $60 million.
Of course, a tax measure on the ballot has the potential to help Susan Hutchison by drawing more conservative, anti-tax voters. Perhaps that's a reason she's down with a human services levy.
West Seattleites can take some solace, though; under Triplett's plan, the Water Taxi would remain untouched.