Only one version of the measure designed to give Seattle voters another

Only one version of the measure designed to give Seattle voters another

Only one version of the measure designed to give Seattle voters another shot at stemming cuts to local metro bus service was approved by the city Council Thursday afternoon, and it was not the one co-sponsored by council members Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata.

That version, which included an annual “head tax” on businesses of up to $18 per year and an expanded commercial parking tax, died in a 6-2 vote despite Sawant’s protestations it stood the best chance to be a “success at the polls.”

Instead, the Council approved a bus funding measure that includes an increased sales tax plus a $60 vehicle license fee. City officials say those moves could generate up to $45 million in revenue to “backfill” King County Metro service after the scheduled September cuts take effect.

As is her wont, Sawant took the Council to task amid debate over the competing versions of the measure and their opposite funding strategies. As it includes a sales tax, the plan ultimately approved by the Council was not the way to address Metro’s funding issues in the long-term, she said. Voting for the Licata/Sawant measure would “send a message to Olympia” and challenge the status quo thinking regarding transportation funding, she added.

Not everyone agreed. “Preserving transit service is the most progressive act we can take,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a release sent shortly after the vote. “But we must ensure our low-income residents are not overly-burdened by the increased taxes.”

So now that that’s done, what next? Residents will test Sawant’s prediction on November 4 when the measure comes up for a vote. Seattle residents overwhelmingly supported the previous attempt to fund Metro when 66.5 perent voted to pass King County’s Proposition 1 last April during a special election. The rest of the county, though, voted resoundingly against the measure, leading to its defeat.

news@seattleweekly.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington health officials discuss response to new COVID variant

Things will be handled with Omicron variant similar to the Delta variant.

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn
King County Councilmember Dunn will challenge Rep. Kim Schrier for U.S. Congress seat

The current County Councilmember would be following in his late mother’s footsteps

Garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. FILE PHOTO
King County and Port of Seattle to collaborate on waste-to-fuel study

The study is aimed at identifying logistics of developing aviation fuel out of municipal garbage.

file photo
Department of Health announces QR code verification program to prove vaccination status

WA Verify is intended to make vaccine verification simpler and more efficient.

Mid-afternoon traffic on northbound Interstate 5 on Nov. 22 near Everett. Dan Bates/The Herald
Thanksgiving traffic forecast is heavier than pre-pandemic

Drivers and ferry riders could be in for long waits, depending on when they go.

Elaine Simons, former foster mother of Jesse Sarey, addresses a crowd outside the Maleng Regional Justice Center on Aug. 24, 2020, moments after Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson was formally charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the May 31, 2019, shooting death of 26-year-old Sarey in front of a north Auburn convenience store. File photo
Jesse Sarey’s family wants people to know who the real Jesse was

He was killed by Auburn police officer Jeffrey Nelson in 2019.

Comparison map between current district map and proposed draft. (Screenshot from King County’s website)
King County proposes redistricting map, asks for feedback from public

Public invited to comment at November 30 public hearing.

Patti Cole-Trindall
King County Executive appoints Patti Cole-Tindall as interim sheriff

Cole-Tindall has a background in the sheriff’s office and county government.

A Snoqualmie Officer was involved in a shooting Tuesday night, Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Police Department.
Man killed by Snoqualmie Police was homeless, living in car

The 33-year-old man who was killed by a Snoqualmie police officer late… Continue reading

The Washington State Redistricting Commission held a public meeting over Zoom on Monday night to draw the final legislative and congressional district boundaries. Most of the five-hour session was spent in "caucus meetings" which were unavailable to the viewing public. (Washington State Redistricting Commission)
Bipartisan commission fails to draw new political boundaries

For the first time in state history, the Supreme Court will define new congressional and legislative districts.

Homeless encampment in a wooded area in Auburn on Aug. 27, 2021. Photo by Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
What the history of homelessness in our region can teach us about our current crisis

A talk with the author of “Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City.”