This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Pierce Transit has a credibility problem with the citizens who live within its taxing district. It should solve that problem at home, not do an end run through the Legislature.
Twice in the last two years, the transit agency has put a sales tax proposal on the ballot only to see it shot down by voters. In November, the second measure came within a cat’s whisker of success, falling short by barely more than 700 votes.
That tiny margin demonstrated that the agency could win the revenues it needs to prevent a drastic cutback in bus service. But it would have to abandon its insistence that the tax be chiseled into stone in perpetuity.
Had last fall’s measure contained a reasonable sunset clause – requiring a new vote after, say, six years – there’s little question it would have passed.
All is not lost. Pierce Transit’s leaders could still secure passage of a new sales tax by holding the agency accountable through a future vote. But transit supporters are seeking to game the process in Olympia to avoid another reckoning with the district’s electorate.
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