Cities in King County may target drivers to pay for bus service under new plan

May 12, 2014

At a press conference today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a plan to allow cities or groups of cities to purchase bus service to avoid service cuts.

Under his plan, cities could impose higher car tab fees or other taxes to keep their current level of bus service, even though 54% of voters recently rejected higher taxes for Metro Transit. KIRO 7 reports that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray plans to put forward a "funding plan" for Seattle to purchase bus service from King County. City officials say the Mayor seeks to impose similar tax increases as the failed Proposition 1 ballot measure.

The County Executive also introduced plans to conduct a financial audit on Metro's budget and plans to compare Metro finances to peer agencies around the country.

Road funding was not mentioned.

Washington Policy Center recommends that King County officials should better manage their rising revenues and open a dialogue with union executives to maintain bus service without raising taxes. More on our recommendations can be found here.