A Truly Progressive Plan to Save Seattle Bus Service Is Back In the Mix


So let me get this straight: they want to raise the Minimum wage, not reduce the B&O tax and now create a new tax on businesses (employee head tax) and tax people with cars to fund the metro? And they really think businesses are just gonna stay within the city limits despite getting anally raped on taxes, labor etc?
Know how Japan has such great transit at such a low cost? Simple: IT'S ALL PRIVATELY OWNED AND OPERATED! The best way to save the metro is to sell it to private companies and let them compete and bring down prices through free-market competition. I don't even own a car and take the metro everywhere, and I am against taxing people so metro can get more money.

This city makes less and less sense every day.
"When you're using a regressive tax for a progressive purpose...it is not regressive."--Mayor Ed Murray


So "Socialist" Sawant gets her first chance to prove it by supporting a fair property tax as in Plan C and she fizzles and flees from it worse than Murray did!

What a pathetic joke!

It's pretty clear that the Democrats are not your friend.

Bus privatization possibility:

Awesome plans!! Lets get it all on the ballot, including Ben Schiendelman's version. Let confuse the voters with 3 separate initiatives that all do the same thing and maybe voters will reject them all.

I was promised a traffic gridlock carmageddon and I don't want to be disappointed.
tax tax tax tax...fucking crooks.

how about asking bus riders to pay an extra 25 cents per trip? funding problem solved.

I know I know..its very anti-progressive to actually ask the moochers to pay their own way - even a little bit.

heaven for-fucking-bid they actually pony up to help pay FOR THEIR BUS RIDE.

This proposal is a lot of things, and it might be better than the mayor's proposal, but it isn't progressive. Someone with a car pays $60, whether it is a Lexus or a beat up old Ford. Someone with three old cars (only one of which works at a particular moment) pays less than the couple that owns matching BMWs. An employee tax works the same way -- got a job, any job, and you pay. I wonder how it works if you have two jobs. I mean, let's say you wash dishes at a restaurant, but clean rooms at a motel -- do you get taxed twice? My guess is you do. Meanwhile, the guy who works at Amazon, and makes more in a year then you make in ten, gets taxed half as much (he only has one job). Then you have a commercial parking tax. How on earth is that progressive? Does it apply to fancy malls that have their own parking? For example, does it apply to University Village? No, but it applies to the cheap lot next to the Ave. Because the guy who owns the lot on the Ave is just way, way, more wealthy than the landlord who rents out property to the likes of Anthropologie.

Call it what you will, but if you call it progressive, you are just making up shit.

The guy with the beat up Ford paid $150 in sales tax when he bought it.

The guy with the Lexus paid $5000 in sales tax when he purchased his car.

I am thinking the guy with the Lexus has ALREADY paid more than his fair share, and is already subsidizing the guy with the old Ford.

Let's get this straight, the rules of our state limit city and county taxing authority. Of course this is total bullshit, but that's how it is. The state Republicans can't quite turn Washington into a disaster like North Carolina so they refuse to allow us to fund the services we need. Our current tax system keeps various parts of the 99% fighting with each other and resentful.

So we're screwed, the bus utility needs funding NOW, so we do the best we can. If you want a real solution join the Transit Riders Union in the long term fight for a better way to tax ourselves.

Or you can just bitch.
No. This is not much better.

I think businesses can contribute more through a B&O tax.
@10. Seriously, business pay enough with a B&O tax. Basically, we're imposing an income tax on only a small percentage of the population. And yeah, I'm saying that as a sole proprietor. So, I get to pay the B&O tax just for the privilege of sitting at home on my computer, AND get shafted with an extra $60 in car tabs for a clunker I hardly drive? And now you think the B&O should be raised?

Fuck that.

Why are you even still here? I thought you'd had it up to your eyeballs with namby-pamby Seattle liberalism more than a year ago, at which point you PROMISED you'd be getting yourself out of this progressive hellhole you so clearly loathe and despise with every ounce of your being. What's stopping you? Please just do all of us a favor and leave already. The sooner you turn your fantasy into a reality, the better off ALL of us will be.
Unlike the trustafarian hipsters who make up 15Now's base, I don't have a lot of money or rich white parents to mooch off of. Hence, I am saving for a car and seed money before I start over in Dallas, Houston, or Charlotte. All have something Seattle doesn't: political diversity.
I don't mind being in a city that has a liberal majority. The thing I can't stand is how anyone who is not a part of the socialist/liberal establishment is a second class citizen and shut out of all process. Just stop saying you believe in "tolerance" and "diversity" if you can't tolerate libertarians or conservatives and have no desire for political diversity.

Would it be so bad if a single fiscal conservative was elected to the city council to represent some voice for those of us in this city who like smaller government?
Wait, how is this not regressive? Both this and the mayor plan use a regressive 60 buck car tab...so whats the difference?
#14, car tabs are one of the most progressive taxes in the state. Until we get an income tax, it is car tabs or nickels and dimes like parking fees.
I prefer the property tax option. Can we couple that with the parking tax to prevent the September cuts?
I get the parking tax, but the employee tax seems doomed to fail, given the coming minimum wage increase. I'm all for asking large employers to pitch in, but the timing is wrong on this. Does Target already provide free or discounted Orca Cards to their employers? My work does, so I take the bus instead of driving and parking my car. Perhaps another strategy would be to compel businesses to directly provide transit options to their employees who need them.
@15, not when it's flat. See @7.
Last week I used the Pay by Phone app to park in Belltown. I noticed a 35 cent service charge, which I found acceptable due to the convenience. Anyone know if the city is getting any of this service charge, or is it just the company that runs the app? I'd happily pay a bit more on the service charge if the city was directing that toward transit.
I say we get a "ranked order" ballot for all these different fees and taxes. Add them up and keep going down the list based on score until you've added up to enough money.

I'm with @16 and thinking the property tax was more progressive than any of this other crap.
Can they launch an indiegogo campaign to buy bus service? I would gladly donate the $100 or so I would have paid in property tax under plan C.
As much as I disagree with Ed Murray on most things, he is absolutely right when he says this is a progressive proposal. Using a car tab may be less progressive than a head tax or property tax, but when it funds bus service, keeps fares down, and provides a low income fare, then the overall effect is progressive. And that's what we have to look at: the overall effect. To zero in on the revenue source while ignoring what it buys is to look at things exactly the same way Tim Eyman does.
#18, it doesn't matter if it is flat or not. Cars are a luxury. A roof over one's head is not. Taxing luxuries is progressive. Taxing the roof over someone's head or the clothing that keeps them warm is regressive. This isn't rocket science.
Fascist Fuckstick @12- there is more than enough of the type of politico you prefer all over America. It is by observation of these fascist nitwits that we know there is no benefit to be derived from including them in any political conversation. They are failures. Their policies are failures. What's wrong with Kansas? Fiscal "conservatism". Example "A";

In a time of slack economic growth and high unemployment around the country, Kansas lawmakers thought they had the solution: massive tax cuts for the wealthy would lure economic activity and jump-start the state’s economy. But after Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed $1.1 billion worth of tax cuts into law over the past two years, the state is behind the national average for economic growth.

A new forecast from Kansas’s budget officials projects that “personal income in Kansas will grow more slowly than U.S. personal income in 2014 and 2015,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) writes. The projections come from Brownback’s own Division of the Budget, which expects personal income growth of 3.8 percent this year and 4.2 percent next year. The state’s overall economic growth is now projected to fall behind the nation’s after two decades of keeping pace, the think tank adds.

At the same time that Brownback’s promised economic growth is failing to materialize, his critics‘ predictions about the tax cuts are largely coming true. The tax package is starving the state of revenue. With less money coming in, Kansas is cutting public services. The state Supreme Court has ordered lawmakers to restore funding to poor school districts, saying that the spending levels they enacted were so low as to be unconstitutional. But given the state’s revenue problems, the way that the legislature is going about correcting the underfunding problem simplytakes money away from other schools that need it.

This is the result of "libertarianism". Childish, selfish, semi-literates devolving into Somalia-like feudal states.

Stop being a lazy reich-winger moocher, get off your fucking unemployable ass and join your knuckle dragging brethren in South Carolina.
@23, by your logic, an income tax would be regressive, since an income is required in order to pay the rent for a roof over your head.
#25, not at all. Money is not required to keep a roof over one's head. Rent is an entirely different beast, and I doubt you have knowledge of its Bronze Age origins, which would be required before it could be made relevant to this discussion. If you do have the knowledge, I'm up for it.
Would it be so bad if a single fiscal conservative was elected to the city council to represent some voice for those of us in this city who like smaller government?

Get more than a statistically irrelevant percentage of Seattle's population to have that sort of viewpoint and it will happen. Democracy 101. What you have is a case of understandable sour grapes, the same that I would have if I lived in, say, Salt Lake City.
@13: You can rent a U-Haul to go from Seattle to Texas for less than a grand.

Are you telling me that someone who works as hard as you can not save up $1,000 in a year to escape such a hell hole and find a better life?

Geez, either Seattle seriously needs a minimum wage increase, or you are full of shit.

Also, look up what "representative democracy" is. There is no law that conservatives can not hold office in Seattle, they simply do not get the votes, you silly goose.
@24- derp, that should have read Fascist Fuckstick @13.
What @16 said
@28 "Geez, either Seattle seriously needs a minimum wage increase, or you are full of shit. "

Why choose?
The stranger has the biggest losers, and least tolerant morons of all the local blogs. Laughable if it weren't so pathetic.
How about giving a break to someone who drives less than a 1,000 miles a year, and, otherwise buses or walks?
I'm pro gay marriage, for legalizing all drugs, against all foreign wars of aggression, anti-censorship, pro-choice, anti-corporate personhood, against all bailouts, against the FED, and think the CEOs of companies that pollute should be thrown in jail along with most of the wall street CEOs and presidents Bush and Obama should be tried for war crimes in the Hague.
So, dear dip shit, how am I a fascist again?

Oh right, I'm a fascist who has an image of ANARCHIST Lysander Spooner in his profile...
Jesus, you're a dumb cunt.
I know you fascists Seattlites don't understand economics, but one needs more than a u-haul to move. One also needs rent, enough to live on while looking for a job (unemployment rate in Texas is low, so no problem there) etc.

And why the fuck haven't you and Sawant moved to the socialist paradise of North Korea?
Oh, and another thing. Are these libertarians also "semi literate knuckle draggers"?

Feel free to not reply and prove you're a coward on top of being a statist ass licker
@35: But your fantasy Texas capitalist paradise (with a worse economy and lower wages) should shower you with riches much faster than the socio-facist-communist hellhole that is Seattle, which is your whole point.

So basically what you are saying is that with Seattle's current cost of living and wage structure, it is taking you several years just to save up enough to drive away? Seattle must really need to revisit its wage structure then, because minimum wage employees like yourself clearly are not making enough to live a decent life.

The only thing Seattle needs is a new reading comprehension program, which you would benefit from. As I said, one needs money to start a new life in a new city...granted, you most likely live off of your parents trust fund that you use to buy endless amounts of Pabst Blue ribbon and pay your Capitol Hill rent, but I have no such rich white parents to fund a hipster lifestyle.

And Texas actually has a stronger economy than Washington State with employment a full one percent lower: http://places.findthebest.com/compare/8-…

And just about everything is cheaper in Houston: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/com…

And I make more than minimum wage. I made 38,000 last year, but I am a working class guy.

And the best thing about Texas cities: they have actual diversity, ethnic AND POLITICAL. I have no problem with liberals having some say in government, as long as libertarians and conservatives have a voice too, while in Seattle anyone who disagrees is treated as an outcast.

I want all voices to be heard, the Seattle liberal establishment wants to muzzle all descent. Who sounds more like a fascist here, me or them?
@38: First, I do not even live in Seattle, nor have I ever had a trust fund. Not sure why you decided that.

Second, you need years of savings just to move and you make almost $40,000 a year? Dude, you are doing something very, very, wrong, or you are lying.

I moved from the hills of Pennsylvania to Baltimore and built a life with nothing but a shitty Toyota and a few hundred dollars. What's your excuse?

Third, the point of this exercise was to show how crappy the situation is for people earning low wages in Seattle. So you should look inward and ask yourself why you can't even afford to move away after so much saving, and think about how hard it is for the people making less than you, and with much harder lives.