What happens when politicians create a special new election date in order to place a tax increase before voters . . . when least expected?
Did I mention that, as the Seattle Times reported, Proposition 1 “enjoyed massive support among politicians, labor unions, environmentalists, social-equity groups and business coalitions”?
Or that the YES campaign outspent the NO side by $654,922 to a mere $7,700, a nearly 100 to 1 margin?
The answer: On Tuesday, voters in one of the most liberal counties in America said NO. A solid 55 percent rejected the ballot measure.
Proposition 1 would have hiked King County’s 9.5-cent sales tax by 0.1 percent and imposed a $60 annual car-tab fee. The idea was to provide more funding for mass transit and local roads, with 60 percent of that revenue going toward the area’s mass transit system.
Transit officials argued that without the additional dough they’d have to make deep service cuts.
“The voters are not rejecting Metro; they are rejecting this particular means of funding Metro,” explained County Executive Dow Constantine. “We know the people of King County love and value their transit service.”
Love? Perhaps. Ridership is reportedly at a near-record high, about 400,000 a day.
Value? Not so much.
This very “progressive” electorate expressed, with utmost clarity, their unwillingness to pay higher taxes for transit. Further, there’s an unmistakable signal in the refusal of King County Metro officials to consider raising the price of their beloved service to become sustainable.
Isn’t it only fair to ask those riding the bus to pay the fare?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.