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BUSES: Missing facts about transit tax

Letter by Ken Paulson, Tacoma on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:44 am with No Comments »
October 8, 2012 12:45 pm

Facts are missing from The News Tribune endorsement on Pierce Transit Proposition 1 (editorial, 10-7).

This tax is a permanent sales tax increase for a temporary problem and would create in Tacoma the highest sales tax rate on the West Coast. Have people considered what this will mean to the car dealers and other businesses in our area?

Having the highest sales tax (10.1 percent), how many will buy elsewhere in a below 8 percent sales tax area? The savings on a vehicle could be $500 to $1,000 per purchase. The City of Tacoma is counting on future sales tax revenue to grow higher; with this increase, will that still work out?

Because this is a permanent tax, it will provide mountains of money when the economy returns. Because there will be no restraining factors, in three years pay increases for Pierce Transit workers will happen, which have been far beyond what the private sector receives.

Has Pierce Transit looked at ways to reduce costs? There are 40-foot buses driving around nearly empty. Why not use microbuses, holding a few passengers?

If a sales tax increase is needed, a .1 percent increase with a three-year time limit seems more reasonable. I urge voters to reject Proposition 1. Send it back to the drawing board to present to us, the ones who pay the taxes, a reasonable increase that does not hurt our economy even further.


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