Funding transit service and transportation infrastructure could be the County’s biggest challenge as it works to close a $60 million budget gap. Metro’s revenue shortfall stems from a volatile and limited revenue stream.
Tim Eyman’s Initiative 695, passed in 1999, slashed transportation funding by replacing the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) with a flat $30 car tab fee. Forty-seven percent of MVET revenues had gone to state transportation, 29 percent to local transit and 24 percent to cities and counties. This transit funding has never been replaced. Our transportation budgets are only further complicated by the current economic crisis. As revenues dwindle the County is left with few financing options.
As a rider, I have experienced the results of service cuts firsthand. As a legislator, I have heard from constituents about how the cuts have directly affected them.
I will use my relationships in Olympia to help secure long-term funding opportunities for transit service and infrastructure.
Passenger-only ferries keep people out of their cars. In geographically constrained districts like ours, it may be more efficient to use water taxis than buses.
As transit agencies continue to be funded only by sales tax and special taxing districts, transit users will continue to face service cuts. Only long-term revenue solutions will keep transit working for our entire community. As a rider and with my bi-partisan relationships in Olympia, I am uniquely qualified to bring these solutions to King County.