Pierce County is looking at cutting the budget for the sheriff’s department and corrections. The Pierce County Library System is cutting $3 million from its budget, a large portion coming from reducing purchases of books, DVDs and CDs. Community Connections and parks are both taking cuts.
A temporary, two-year .03 percent sales tax would generate a 10 percent increase annually in the county’s general fund. This would allow for fuller funding of services that would benefit the entire county.
Is our money better spent on a variety of county services that impact more people in the or long-term commitments to Pierce Transit that only benefit a small segment of the population?
Funding levels will improve for the county and Pierce Transit in the next few years, and additional revenues won’t be necessary. Approving Pierce Transit Proposition 1 puts us on the hook for a huge increase in funding on an ongoing basis.
We lost our best opportunity to negotiate lower transit worker health and dental costs with this last contract. The contract runs for three years. By the time the next contract comes up, revenues will be increasing, and there will be no leverage to negotiate any concessions.
The union hasn’t demonstrated any interest in working to reduce the costs for Pierce Transit. Let’s not reward it with more funds.