Two Seattle City Council members have unveiled what they say is a more equitable plan to maintain Metro bus service slated to be slashed due to county budget cuts.
Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant said Monday they have asked city staff to research the Council’s options to implement a commercial parking tax increase and reinstitute an employer head tax in Seattle in an effort to not only restore Metro’s planned cuts but prevent the upcoming service reductions.
“If approved by Council, the Mayor’s proposal will go to the ballot in November, but not in time to prevent the first round of cuts,” Licata said in a statement released to media. “These initial cuts, and the funding that would kick in if ‘Plan C’ were approved, places a burden on poor and working people,” said Licata.
Mayor Ed Murray announced last week that he will put a $60 car tab fee and .1% sales tax hike before Seattle voters in November. Murray’s plan would generate around $45 million a year to partially restore Metro services in the city.
A statement on the Licata and Sawant plan initially said it would “shift the burden of long-term funding off Seattle’s working people, elderly, disabled, students, and people of color who need service to be maintained” and “prevent the first round of devastating cuts to Metro service.” An update later in the day revised the statement to drop the “prevent” language and clarify that the plan would “address the proposed cuts to Seattle Metro bus service.”