Voters reject King County transportation measure


by Associated Press and KING 5 News

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 12:03 PM

King County Prop. 1, which would have raised car tabs $60 for buses and road maintenance, failed. It's now feared that Metro may have to make significant cuts to bus service. Why do you think the measure failed?

SEATTLE  -- King County Executive Dow Constantine says he's "very disappointed" by early election returns that show county voters rejecting a proposed sales tax hike and increase in the car-tab fee to pay for roads and prevent cuts in Metro transit bus service.

He says he'll keep fighting at the state Legislature to get a "decent, sustainable funding source for transit."

"If we care about the environment, then transit has to win. If we care about the economy, then transit has to win," added Seattle mayor Ed Murray. "We are going to win before this is done. We have no choice."

In the meantime, Constantine says he'll be sending the County Council a proposal to cut 550,000 hours of bus service annually.

Initial returns tallied Tuesday night showed the proposal failing 55 percent to 45 percent. More returns will be posted by late Wednesday afternoon in the mail election.

Proposition 1 seeks a $60 car-tab fee and a one-tenth-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax. The measure would raise about $130 million a year for 10 years, with 60 percent going to Metro Transit for bus service and 40 percent to pay for roads.

King County has warned that failure of Prop. 1 would mean significant cuts to bus service, including the cancellation of some routes.

"A cut in service could affect me and parking at my building in downtown Seattle costs $30 a day," said bus rider Ellen Kildale. "It was probably rejected by people who don't ride the bus."

"I already ride the bus for 3 hours everyday, I don't want to be on it even more. It's a huge imposition," said Cari Blount.

Not all bus riders supported the measure.

"I take the bus, but I'm not going to make people who drive go through ANOTHER tax hike. That's like building a bike lane and expecting people who drive cars to pay for it," said Callista Marie Martinez on KING 5's Facebook page.

Voters in the Lake Washington School District have said no to a bond issue for school construction. That measure requires a 60 percent super majority and it's only getting 51 per cent.

And Tacoma voters are approving a bond measure to pay for improvements at city parks, including the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. That measure also needs 60 percent to pass.

Related: Election results