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New fees and taxes sought for buses, trains

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 10, 2011 at 11:21 am with 35 Comments »
February 10, 2011 11:28 am

Could this end up as Pierce Transit’s Plan B?

Transit advocates and Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, are unveiling a bill today that would offer a series of new funding sources for buses and trains.

Right now, county transit agencies can ask voters to raise their sales taxes. But King and Snohomish counties have reached their sales- tax ceilings, and on Tuesday Pierce County voters rejected an increase.

So agencies may see new hope in this bill, which offers ideas for permanent taxing authority that would build on a temporary authority that Liias had previously proposed.

Asked about the possibility, a Pierce Transit spokesman told my colleague Kris Sherman the agency is so busy digesting the results of the election, it’s not putting a big effort into finding any new sources of revenue. But officials there are happy to “add more tools to the toolbox” of revenue sources, spokesman Lars Erickson said.

Under the bill, city and county bus agencies and regional ones like Sound Transit could ask voters to add taxes or fees:

  • Based on the miles driven in a car.
  • On a vehicle based on fuel efficiency.
  • On a vehicle based on its value, with a progressive tax rate that rises with value.
  • On fuel sales. A local sales tax on gas could be added to the gas tax.

The pro-transit group Transportation Choices, through a new campaign called Transportation For Washington, is pushing for the measure. The campaign said in a statement the bill “authorizes several new voter-approved revenue mechanisms that are robust enough to weather economic fluctuations and diverse enough to meet the different needs of communities across the state.”

Thanks. Pierce Transit said they’re so budy digesting the results of the election they’re not focusing on anything else. So, they’re happy with efforts to “add more tools to the toolbox” of revenue sources, Pierce Transit spokesman Lars Erickson said, but they’re not putting a huge effort into it.
Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. Rowdy_Rob says:

    What part of NO do our elected representatives not understand?

  2. Rowdy_Rob says:

    Oops…messed up on my tag. Sorry.

  3. fbergford says:

    Rowdy…I was going to say the same thing! This is ridiculous! Who voted this dimwit into office!

  4. You have to be kidding Liias – in what reality are you living?

    Additional taxation during recession, brilliant .

    Note to any Pierce County fellow members of the legislature:

    You follow this idiot and you will not get re-elected – if the Pierce Transit vote is an indicator.

  5. Patches_Pal says:

    Why is Rep. Marko Liias wasting taxpayer time attempting to increase taxes? He should be focused entirely on reducing the cost of transit and government. One way to do it would be to redistrict. Create legislative districts that are twice the current size and you will have only half as many legislators trying to tax us more.

  6. Ian Swenson says:

    @Rowdy_Rob Fixed the tag for you.

  7. modyfied says:

    They figured it worked for the stadium, the bridge, food, and gas….Why not add another tax without a peoples vote? And this is democracy? I’m sure our brethren in Spokane would want a new tax to fix Pierce Transit…tax tax tax tax without representation?hmmm…seems we learned nothing at the LAST revolution…

  8. BlaineCGarver says:

    It’s pretty clear that the State wants war…..

  9. Ah, just more fodder for little Timmy Eyeman. . .

  10. oops, meant Eyman

  11. The brilliant person from Mukilteo should worry about his own district stay out of pierce count issues (Under the bill, city and county bus agencies and regional ones like Sound Transit could ask voters to add taxes or fees)
    This statement is true and the people already responded it did not pass so leave it alone. We are getting tired of our government always over ruling what the people voted for if this how it works than why are we voting at all

  12. BigSwingingRichard says:

    We would not need to worry about such insulting tactics by the legislature if we would just elect Tim Eyman as Governor, or as an alternative, some other Republican.

  13. This pierce county bus issue will be pushed down their throats just like tolling was done for king county 520, 99, the tunnel I thought the taxes that are currently in place was for roads, tolling is double taxation

  14. This guy is out of his mind! Unbelievable the disrespect for the electorate this arrogant soul has.

  15. A portion of the gas tax ALREADY goes to Cities. Tacoma takes 20% of theirs to pave alleys and beautify the area around City Hall. So, forget about THAT portion of the bill.
    I don’t see what is so hard for the Legislature and Transit people to understand. You DO NOT raise taxes during a recession! PERIOD, EVER! Are these guys blind, stoned or stupid???
    People are barely getting by as it is. Over 10% of the State’s workers are unemployed. People living on Social Security haven’t seen an increase in benefits in two straight years. Get a Fracking clue, people.

  16. add:
    As for Tim Eyeman or a Republican Governor: not unless I were stoned or became stupid. Imagine what a mess we would have if Dino “looking for work” Rossi were at the helm! YIKES!!!

  17. PumainTacoma says:

    Email Rep. Marco Liias and tell him to knock the tax hike bill!!!!

    And yes we already pay higher gas tax then our neighbors in Oregon and other states and we don’t need no stickin tax for our cars. Cut the fat. Lean is in.


  18. dirtydan54 says:

    I keep saying these pinhead legislators only care about their agencies and revenue sources for them.

    Lilas simply does not and refuses to understand what we are saying over and over again.

    What is it going to take for officers in the public trust to be just that.

    Thet definately are living in a seperate reality.

  19. Jordan Schrader says:


    Just want to point out that under this bill, agencies couldn’t impose a tax without approval from local voters.


  20. PumainTacoma says:

    Bell Taxpayers

    Taxpayers in Bell pay as much as 1.55 percent of their home’s assessed value in taxes, according to Wendy Watanabe, Los Angeles County’s auditor-controller. The average for the county is 1.16 percent. In Beverly Hills, where the per-capita income is nearly four times that of Bell, according to City-Data.com, residents pay 1.19 percent, she said.

    In Tacoma we pay a higher percentage than Beverly Hills in property taxes.

    There is a reason why we do not need to become more like BELL CALIFORNIA

  21. surveyor1 says:

    So let me get this strait. If I buy an expensive car, thereby paying more sales tax than someone buying an inexpensive car, under this bill I would be on the hook for more taxes? Didn’t I just pay more than my fair share? By the same token, if I drive a gas guzzler for a car am I not already paying more taxes by virture of the fact that I am buying more gasoline than the average person, but yet for that reason I would now be assessed an addional tax under this new bill? Seems a bit assinine to me.

  22. tommy98466 says:

    Leave it up to a democrat to offer up a taxing plan that voters have rejected time after time. Another excise tax is what they want so they can tax you on your $3500 car at the rate of a $10,000 car. These people need to be voted out of office. They are doing the folks, that are already struggling, harm by raising fees and taxes. STOP THE SPENDING!!!. Pathetic.

  23. enotrams says:

    How ironic that Tim Eyman lives in Marko Liias’ legislative district.

  24. justsayno says:

    I find it insulting to ask tax payers for more money when its like $6.00 to ride the train or little less to ride the buses, where is all this revenue going? Suggestion, if they want to have this let the people that want it pay for it for a change

  25. puyallup_leon says:

    Let’s let them go threw all that work of reinventing something that doesn’t work before we shoot it down in flames? Or maybe their just slow and we have to talk to them like little children. NO-NO Pierce Transit .

  26. beerdrinkingdawg says:

    Let me tell you
    How it will be.
    There’s one for you,
    Nineteen for me,

    ‘Cause I’m the taxman.
    Yeah, I’m the taxman.

    Should five percent
    Appear too small,
    Be thankful I don’t
    Take it all.

    ‘Cause I’m the taxman.
    Yeah, I’m the taxman.

    If you drive a car,
    I’ll tax the street.
    If you drive to city,
    I’ll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold,
    I’ll tax the heat.
    If you take a walk,
    I’ll tax your feet.


    ‘Cause I’m the taxman.
    Yeah, I’m the taxman.

    Don’t ask me what I want it for,
    (Uh-uh, Mr. Wilson.)
    If you don’t want to pay some more.
    (Uh-uh, Mr. Heath.)

    ‘Cause I’m the taxman.
    Yeah, I’m the taxman.

    And my advice to
    Those who die.
    Declare the pennies
    On your eyes.

    ‘Cause I’m the taxman.
    Yeah, I’m the taxman,
    And you’re working for no one but me.

  27. aranciata says:

    Get a rope!

  28. Don’t sell your guns!

  29. sixpackjoe says:

    Cling to religion!

  30. lovethemountains says:

    Blind, stoned or stupid? All of the above.

  31. lakeside404 says:

    To Our kind and understanding City Leaders/ Con Artists, You might want to watch the News, Watch what is Happening in Egypt, Get a Few Thousand Protesters shutting down downtown Tacoma/ Olympia or Seattle for a few days, Maybe then they might get the Message, We are not walking ATM Machines at their disposal.

  32. truthbusterguy says:

    He is smoking to much Rx pot.

    He won’t find one GOP vote and dems running for election will run from this one. Someone take this guys head out of his butt.

  33. hortonpeak says:

    Although I have not read in detail all of the comments, I did notice one. Marko and Tim come from the same district. Perhaps it is the water. But, on the other hand, it might be both live in a world most of us do not inhabit. But, both are more than willing to exploit the rest of us. Just saying.

  34. BlaineCGarver says:

    SixPacJoe: LOL….cling to your package..you’re good at that…with your sense of humor, it’s the only thing you can get a rise out of……

  35. It looks as though Lars is open to any and all efforts to squeeze every dime,nickel and penny the public has, to satisfy Pierce Transits instatiable appetite for the taxpayers money.Don’t you love that quote attributed to Lars, officials there are happy to’add more tools to the toolbox of revenue sources.We know what is really implied here,and that is sock it to them!If they won’t give the money freely,we will take it from them and laugh all the way to the bank.I believe Markos would be a good candidate for impeachment,unfortunatly he is not in my District!This my opinion and opinions are a dime a dozen.

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