Pierce Transit seek tax boost

Comment By Bob L.
Tue.06-12-2012

Insert from article [Bliss Moore of Tacoma said he’s in favor. Better bus service not only helps riders, he said, but also the environment by taking cars off the road.]

The first place to start is Thurston County who does not have to have E-CHECK to drive and work in Pierce and king County, there is where you start and make them ride the bus if they want to enter Counties that have E-CHECK, or Discontinue E-CHECK in Washington State totally and permanently.

READ PAGE Focus on I-5 and Thurston County.

One Question HOW MANY people who want this, ride the bus every where they go, or are they the ones that say, Don’t Do As I Do, Do As I Say, like a lot of those with money say, but it is not for them, because it is below them to ride the bus.

An other point, on some of the buses you need Three point Seat Belts and Helmet because of schedules that have buses speeding and taking chances to stay on time because schedules are so tight.

First place you start is the waste done every year, Second get rid of dead wood, or people who are not needed in the office building, like people who drive around following buses around, that is what tracking devices are for, you only need Three supervisors for three shifts, but there is a lot of waste that is done by public Operations every year that has nothing to do with keeping buses moving.

How much money is spent on things that have nothing to do with keeping buses moving, like billboards,arts and crafts, it is not the place for taxpayer money to use it for any thing other than Operations and safety.

Service Adult Youth Senior/Disabled
Local $2.00 $0.75 $0.75
Olympia Express $2.50 $2.50 $1.25
Monthly Local Pass $72.00 $27.00 $27.00
Summer Youth Pass N/A $27.00 N/A

Fares & Transfers

And they want to charge Taxpayers of Pierce Country, look at Olympia’s free ride compared to local riders, start with FARES First before they go after Pierce County taxpayers, if they want to go to events in Seattle make them CHARTER A BUS.

===================================================================================

Sara Schilling; Staff writer
Published: 06/11/12 | Updated: 06/12/12

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.

If it fails, more reductions will come, officials said.

“We risk, in not putting this matter before voters, becoming an irrelevant transit system – one that people can’t count on, one that people easily write off,” said Tacoma City Council member Jake Fey, who sits on the transit board.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, board chairwoman, said it’s never easy to ask for a tax increase. “But it’s even more difficult to have bus service that’s so eroded that it doesn’t serve the people who need it most,” she said.

The vote was 7-1, with Don Anderson, Lakewood’s deputy mayor, the sole dissenter. He said he might have supported a smaller increase that came with an ending date.

“I believe it’s unwise to put (the three-tenths of 1 percent increase) on the ballot at this time,” he said. “It’s too much, too soon and for too long.”

Today, Pierce Transit collects a 0.6 percent sales tax within its boundaries; the additional three-tenths would bring the agency to the maximum allowed by state law.

It’s needed because Pierce Transit’s sales tax revenue – which accounts for about 70 percent of its budget – has continued to decline, officials said. And, its boundaries were just reduced, with the departing communities – Bonney Lake, Sumner, Orting, Buckley, DuPont and some unincorporated parts of the counties – taking roughly $7.5 million in annual sales tax revenue with them.

A group of elected officials from throughout the county – which was independent from Pierce Transit’s board – settled on the new boundary map through a process that ended in May.

Pierce Transit in February 2011 proposed the same three-tenths of 1 percent sales tax increase, but it failed.

Since then, the agency has cut bus service by one-third and reduced its work force by 18 percent. Before that measure went before voters, the agency already had made $89 million in cuts, transit officials said Monday.

If the new sales tax measure fails, the agency will have to cut service by a projected 38 percent, officials said. Weekend bus and shuttle service likely would go away, among other cuts.

Before the board’s vote Monday, about a half-dozen community members weighed in on the potential tax increase.

Some were in favor and others seemed against. One man urged the board to attach a sunset to any tax hike.

Bliss Moore of Tacoma said he’s in favor. Better bus service not only helps riders, he said, but also the environment by taking cars off the road.

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Categories: America, government, money, people, politics, Public Transportation, Safety, Tacoma's Government, taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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