Metro announces record-high tax collections

March 19, 2014

In newly-released figures, Metro officials announced they received record-breaking levels of tax revenue in 2013, reporting they collected more money from the public in taxes than at any time in the agency’s history.

The state’s largest public transit agency collected $442,731,128 in tax revenue the last calendar year, surpassing pre-recession revenue levels.

Officials also say their revenue projection for 2014 will exceed previous estimates by $32 million, with $471 million in collections, resulting in another windfall revenue year for the agency.

Revised estimates for 2015 show Metro expects to collect $496 million that year. 

 Metro officials announced they expect to receive record levels of tax revenue this year and next year.

Officials at Pierce Transit and Community Transit report similar good news.  In response to the improved fiscal outlook, Pierce officials cancelled plans to cut bus services, saying instead they plan to improve management of existing revenue and add services for the bus-riding public.

Despite higher revenue collections, however, King County officials appear determined to press ahead with plans to seek two large tax increases from voters on April 22nd.

Metro officials say that if they do not receive the tax increases they are seeking they will cut county bus service by 17%, or about 600,000 hours of service.  King County Councilmember Larry Phillips told the Seattle Stranger newspaper, “It’s either bus service cuts or this [tax increases].”

Transit advocates expressed concern about how the threatened cuts, or increases in regressive sales and car fees, would impact poor residents.  “Cutting bus service would hit poor people hardest,” according to the Stranger.

Comments

"The state’s largest public

"The state’s largest public transit agency" is Sound Transit -- by far. In 2013 it confiscated $660 million in taxes.

Thanks for your comment

I used operating expenses and ridership as the qualifier. But yes, you are right. Sound Transit collects more in tax revenue than King County Metro Transit.

Metro needs to streamline

After the Policy Center's assessment, King County's response was as expected more guilt from budget director Dwight Dively along with incompetent analysis and mis-information. He failed at Seattle and was traded for Goldberg from KC who took the county to furloughs. Two losers who continue to waste tax payer money and justify their existence by imposing more taxes. Continued trading back and forth from Seattle to KC by non-performers only exacerbate the financial problems at both government agencies.
Next Metro needs to improve revenues by charging all passengers not just the honest ones.
I ride the Rapid Ride every day, each day a number or passengers, as high as 1 out of 3 enter through the middle or back doors without scanning their card at the curb kiosk. If a toll officer gets on, they get off. The bus comes every 15 minutes so this is not an inconvenience for a free ride.
Loss of revenue, and incompetence at the top is only part of the problem, Metro administrative employees are over staffed, and over paid with duplicative positions throughout the organization.
Check out this link:
http://www.thenewstribune.com/soundinfo/kingsalaries/?appSession=0830307...
6000 employees, six figure salaries, wasteful overtime, this does not warrant more taxes.