Packed house for King County $20 car-tab meeting

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by CYD DUTCHER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Mar 2 at 7:41 PM

SEATTLE -- The King County Council held their last public meeting on the proposed $20 car-tab fee Monday with a final decision expected by the end of the public hearing.

Members of the council heard the public’s comments on the fee proposed in order to avoid cuts of Metro Transit bus routes.

The council is expected to discuss and take final action on the ordinance, officially known as the Congestion Reduction Charge, at the end of the public hearing.

King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the Council the proposed Congestion Reduction Charge ordinance on June 20 as an attempt counter the 17-percent cut of Metro bus services.

"To keep people moving and economic recovery on track, this temporary funding will preserve bus service near current levels while we work out a statewide transportation solution that supports transit," said Executive Constantine.

But the ordinance has caused quite a stir in the community with many people strongly supporting both sides of the issue. A recent KING 5 News poll conducted by Survey USA pointed out just how split people feel on the issue. When asked whether they were in support of “the $20 annual car tab fee for the next two years to help avoid service cuts to Metro,” 43-percent of people supported the fee, 50-percent opposed it and 7-percent were unsure.

One aspect of the ordinance people seem to agree on is how the fee would be instated. When asked, “If King County does decide to impose a temporary $20 annual car tab fee for the next two years, should the county put a measure on the ballot for voters to approve? Or should the King County Council approve the fee without a public vote?” an overwhelming 64-percent said the measure should go on the ballot. Only 32-percent thought that the council should approve the fee on their own, and 4-percent remained unsure.
 

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