Yes on Prop 1

on April 22nd

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who is the Move King County Now campaign?

The Move King County Now campaign is a broad coalition of community, business, labor, environment, freight, education, health, and social justice leaders working to pass Proposition 1 in order to preserve transit service, fix our roads, and protect our economy and quality of life. Leaders include King County Labor Council, Downtown Seattle Association, Transportation Choices Coalition, Fuse Washington, OneAmerica, and mayors from across the county. See the full list of our partners and endorsements here.

 

What is Proposition 1?

Proposition 1 raises our vehicle fee by $40 ($20 increase for low income car owners after the $20 rebate) and the sales tax by 10cents for every $100 purchase (0.1% increase). This would cost the average King County household $11 each month, and less for low income households. Proposition 1 also reduces the new reduced rate fare for low income bus riders to $1.25.

 

What will this money be spent on?

Sixty percent of Prop 1 will fund Metro, closing the gap so that we don’t have to cut our bus ser-vice. The rest of the funds will be split per-capita for our cities’ and county’s transportation needs: fixing and maintaining roads, bridges and other investments to make it safer and easier to get around. For example, King County estimates that annually, Seattle will have $16.5 million, Redmond $1.4 million, Bellevue $3.4 million, and Federal Way $2.3 million for transportation priorities in their communities.

 

When is Election Day?

The Special Election will be on April 22nd, Earth Day.  Ballots should be in hand by April 5th.

 

What are you doing to help people who can’t afford a tax increase?

The measure will include important steps to address the rising costs of living and transportation, that’s why organizations representing seniors, students, working families, disabled, and communities of color are all supporting the campaign. Through a new reduced bus fare rate for lower income riders, we’ll make sure we keep transit accessible to those who need it the most.  And a rebate of the vehicle fee will give relief to our lowest income drivers.

 

Can’t Metro fix its shortfall through belt-tightening?

King County Metro has gone through an elaborate multi-year process to save money and keep our buses running. By implementing audit recommendations, reducing employee benefits, reorganizing service to increase productivity, and other efficiencies, the agency has managed to save resources and keep our buses running. Now the only choice is to cut vital service or pass Proposition 1 on April 22nd.

 

Is there another tax we could use instead?

We have tried for six years to get the state to give us a more progressive and stable tax - and Olympia has failed to deliver.  The Transportation Benefit District is the only existing tax the County currently has that will generate sufficient revenue to save Metro and fix our roads. With temporary funding running out in June, our only choice is to let our bus service be cut — leaving some seniors, students, disable, and working families without a way to get around altogether — or pass Proposition 1 to keep our buses running.

 

What has Metro done to reduce labor costs?

Over the years Metro drivers have agreed to reductions in their cost of living adjustments and salaries so that we can preserve as much service as possible.  Metro workers perform a challenging job well and they deserve a living wage.  With a $75 million annual gap due to the re-cession, it’s simply unfair and irresponsible to ask our workers to take on the entire burden.

 

How will this impact the negotiations for a state transportation package?

For six years the legislature has failed to pass a state transportation package to fund critical improvements like SR 520 and SR 167, growing our transit system, and more adequately addressing our growing backlog of road maintenance. Thankfully partisan gridlock has not stopped King County from acting, the King County Council unanimously put Proposition 1 to the voters, believing that it’s imperative voters have a choice to save our bus service and fix our streets and roads.

 

What happens if we vote no?

Like Community Transit (Snohomish County) who has cut 35% of its bus service and Pierce Transit (Pierce County) who has cut 43% of its bus service, King County Metro will begin the steps to cut up to 17% of our bus service starting this fall.  These cuts could eliminate up to 74 bus routes and reduce or revise service on another 107 routes, affecting 80% of today’s bus riders and put up to 30,000 cars back on our already clogged streets. If Proposition 1 passes, Metro will not need to move forward with the proposed service cuts or restructuring.

 

Isn’t the economy recovering - why does Metro still need new revenue?

Sales tax revenue is now projected to be modestly above Metro’s budget assumptions.  This is good news. But it’s not enough to make up for the $1.2 billion funding gap created by the recession.  Through efficiencies, contract negotiations, spending down reserves, and raising fares, King County has done everything it can to keep our buses running. Now our only choice is to cut our bus service, neglect our roads, and put 30,000 cars back on our streets OR to pass Proposition 1 in April to keep our economy moving forward.

Paid for by Move King County Now • 603 Stewart Street Suite 819, Seattle, WA 98101

info@movekingcountynow.org • 206-450-3622

Top 5 contributors: Local 1488 AFSCME, Titan Outdoor LLC, Veolia Transportation, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, Horton Street/Sonics Arena