Alternative plan to stave off Metro cuts in Seattle includes parking, employee tax

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

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.”

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9 thoughts on “Alternative plan to stave off Metro cuts in Seattle includes parking, employee tax

  1. The city parking lot tax is already around 20%. How high is high enough for these scoundrels? And an employee head tax? Gee, let’s think up some more ways to discourage hiring.

    Why not increase the share of the cost that Metro riders pay through fares, and make the 17,000 public employees pay for their now-free Metro passes? But nooooooooo, the council wants to dump more on the rest of the populace. Argh (sound of disgust).

  2. With how many cars we have stuffing our streets and slowing down our buses, the parking tax clearly is not high enough, so it makes perfect sense to increase parking taxes to fund transit. Also, reducing the return on parking will hopefully stop developers from building so god damn much of it. 700 parking spots coming to the development at 9th and Stewart! Parking is the silent killer of downtown affordability and livability.

    • I live on Capitol Hill and own a car. I suppose that makes me and my lifestyle evil.

      There are plenty of things that adversely affect downtown affordability and livability, but cars aren’t high on the list.

      Besides, if there were no car owners, who would pay for the mayor’s new bus funding referendum?

  3. Good Golly that November ballot is going to be a circus of taxes and fees from the looks of it. Tax cars, Tax parking, Tax cars again – oh and here, more sales tax on everyone. Don’t forget our parks and vote for the park levy and if you aren’t fatigued by taxes already after this please don’t forget the children, please approve taxes for pre-k as well. City council and the mayor need to get aligned with all this proposed taxation or will see a big failure all the way around come November, I’m sick of it already and it’s only May.