Several suburban cities leave Pierce Transit district while agency heads to ballot for a sales tax increase
Pierce Transit is heading to the ballot for another attempt at a sales tax increase this November. From the Tacoma News Tribune:
A sales tax increase to help Pierce Transit restore services and avoid further cuts will head to voters this fall.
The agency’s board on Monday agreed to place a three-tenths of 1 percent sales tax increase on the Nov. 6 ballot.
It would generate an estimated $28 million annually and allow Pierce Transit to restore some of the service it’s cut in the last year, transit officials said.
Annual service hours would rise from 418,000 to more than 581,000.
Voters rejected a similar measure last year with opposition coming mostly from suburban communities outside the urban core. This year however, officials redrew the transit agency’s boundaries and allowed several of these outlying cities to break away. They include the cities of Sumner, Bonney Lake, Orting, Buckley and DuPont.
City officials complained their citizens were not receiving transit service proportional to the taxes they paid and instead opted to leave the Peirce Transit district. This action was generally supported by all sides because it now increases the likelihood that a new tax increase will succeed at the ballot.
Something to watch is how long these transit-less cities remain on their own and whether they try to rejoin the Pierce Transit district without asking voters.