Metro funding poll, May 2014

Update, May 20, 2014: 

Final poll results are available here.


On May 13, 2014 in response to King County Proposition 1 failing countywide, but passing inside of the City by 66% in favor, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his funding proposal for preserving King County Metro bus services inside of the city only (details here on Murray’s website). Prior to this announcement, another now suspended ballot initiative was filed by the group Keep Seattle Moving. The core funding differences for the plans are this:

  • Murray plan: $60 car tab fee and a 0.01% sales tax.
  • Keep Seattle Moving plan: $0.22 per $1000 of value property tax.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition became aware of heated debates in our membership over which funding sources were best, and that they would be most willing to support. In response, over twenty members present on our Tuesday, May 13th meeting voted unanimously in favor of this basic poll of available funding sources. All of these can either be enacted by a popular vote of Seattle residents or that the Seattle City Council and Mayor can enact as legislation without a popular vote.

The survey:

[socialpoll id=”2201268″]


This poll will be closed at noon on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 10:00am.

Explanation of tax methods:

  • B&O tax (business and occupancy): “The Seattle business license tax is applied to the gross revenue that businesses earn. It is sometimes called the business and occupation tax (B&O tax) or gross receipts tax.”
  • Car tab fee: A flat rate fee added onto all car registrations in the city.
  • Commercial parking tax: A special sales tax paid when a driver parks in a commercial parking lot in the city.
  • Employee hours (head) tax: This was a city tax on businesses imposed by the City Council in 2007 and later repealed in 2009 during the Great Recession. It charged a fee to businesses for each employee and was intended to fund transportation projects.
  • Gas tax (city only): An increase in the amount of gasoline taxes charged in-city at the pump.
  • Property tax fee: A fee added to the annual tax bill for all buildings and land in the city. For example, $0.20 per $1,000 of the value of the property.
  • Restaurant & Entertainment tax: Special taxes that would be applied to entertainment, such as dining out.
  • Sales tax increase: An extra sales tax added to all eligible purchases in the city.

After being open for five days, we will publish the results of the poll and present them to Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council for consideration in a letter, and will request a public response from the chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee and Mayor’s office.

Please take the time to read and take this basic poll.

Our next WSTC meeting:

Please join us for our next meeting on June 10th, 2014, when our guest is Washington State Transportation Secretary Lynn Petersen, to talk about the state of the Viaduct, SR99, and how it all applies to West Seattle.

We meet at June 10th at 6:30pm at Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, in West Seattle.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition
Move the people.

Updated: May 20, 2014 — 12:40 pm
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