Seattle property tax initiative aims at saving Metro

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Poll:
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?

Bus advocates plan to file an initiative to save Metro Transit service in Seattle after King County voters rejected a transportation measure Tuesday.

The group Friends of Transit is targeting the November ballot for the measure that it says could raise up to $25 million per year for the next six years.

If it’s passed, the initiative would raise the city’s property tax by 22 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value between 2015 and 2021. The owner of a $500,000 home would pay $110 per year.

The group claims the measure would reverse most of the cuts to Metro routes in Seattle.

"Seattle will grind to a halt if we don't act fast to save buses," said Ben Schiendelman, founder of Friends of Transit in a statement. "Seattle voters want better transit. We will not rest until we have reversed these cuts and begun making the investments we need to provide Seattle with the transit system it deserves."

King County residents voted down Proposition 1. It would have raised car tab fees $60 car and raised the sales tax one-tenth-of-a-cent. 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.

County officials say 72 bus routes will be eliminated and 84 routes will be reduced as of September.

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