Seattle to Vote on Transit Funding

Following the failed countywide vote on Metro Transit funding last spring, the Seattle Mayor and City Council have placed a measure on this November’s ballot that would be a Seattle-only Metro Transit funding program. The measure, Proposition 1, seeks to increase sales taxes by 0.1 percent and add a $60 annual car-tab fee for six years. The tax and fees are projected to generate $45 million a year. The city would use the funds to buy more bus service hours from King County Metro Transit and help subsidize low-income riders. The service hours purchased would be directed by the Seattle City Council.

For many, the urgency of passing such a measure has been diminished by recent action on the Metropolitan King County Council. Under the leadership of Councilmember Rod Dembowski, the Metropolitan King County Council voted to reject a proposal by King County Executive Constantine to cut 250,000 annual Metro bus hours in the 2015- 2016 budget cycle. The King County Executive maintains that despite an improvement in the budget due to recovering property taxes and increased sales taxes during the past several months, it is unrealistic to rely on that continued positive budget position and that future cuts will be needed.

Adding to the potential for voter confusion at the ballot, a measure titled Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1 would create a city transportation authority to plan for a new monorail. SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® has not taken a position on either measure.