The Four Horsemen of the Buspocalypse

If Metro Is Forced to Cut 645,000 Hours of Bus Service, King County Voters Know Who to Blame

Comments

1
these four crap holes should be banished from the state.
2
I moved here in 1982 - you know, before you were born.

The first newspaper I picked up was screaming about needing More Money Or Your Children Will All Die.

Nothing has changed.
3
Why sould the whole state have to pay for Seattle Metro bus service. Let the people that use it pay for it. Increase the fares instead of taxes.
4
@3 John, you have poor reading comprehension. The whole state wouldn't pay for the 1.5 percent motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) local option that was detailed in the first paragraph. However, for King county to impose that on its residents (only the people in King county), it needs the state legislature to give it that authority. This excise tax would be paid by people who benefit from Metro Transit i.e. less traffic because people are taking the bus or using the bus themselves.
5
The response of populations should be to turn away from centralization and develop densely around regional hubs. Nothing is produced in downtown Seattle. The city fathers stole our transportation funding. All roads lead to Rome.
6
@3 - Sure. Here's a deal for you. ALL tax revenue generated in each county shall be allocated 100% in that county. Let's see how that works for you.
7
Pee pee fucky doodoo hole poop shit weenie fuck!
8
@3 Even if you were right about anything you said, you're still wrong. Did you miss the part about the 30,000 more cars on the road and the 10-15 minutes more to each ride? Or, does that not affect you either because you simply don't leave your house?

It is clear you took more time to post your useless comment than you spent reading or trying to comprehend the article.
9
Let Goldy and the little skank he sired pay for the service I don't use.
10
@9:

That's a two-way street my friend. Unless you live in a fucking cave in the woods and wrote your puerile comment on birch bark or some shit, I'll bet there's a whole list of tax revenue-supported services YOU use that I don't; do I get to not pay for those as well?
11

These problems start at the source: the Washington State Constitution. Because this state limits the amount that property tax can increase in any year to 1%, the taxes on property and assets are way, way out of sync to valuation.

What this means is you have a lot of entrenched long timers getting a free ride -- paid mortgages, and low taxes on prime real estate in high service urban areas. Meanwhile, the newcomer is spending top dollar for high rents and has a much, much poorer lifestyle even though he may have spent the time to get a college education and perform in a high valued job.

You want fairness? Then tax fairly. With rational property taxes.
12
Your four horsemen are missing the one who made all this possible: Mayor Election Ed Murray. If he had been focused on doing what it took to actually be majority leader, this would not be an issue. The Leg race we lost in south puget sound wouldn't be an issue. Don Benton Wouldn't be a senator. Rodney Tom would just be another under informed back bencher.

Ed, Harry Reid does what it takes to stay majority leader. You didn't.

The upside of his winning the mayor's race is that he's not around to the Senate anymore.
13
@11 really? My property tax, in a "prime real estate area" has gone up like crazy. Because the rate is one thing, the assessment is another. I paid X for my house 3 years ago, and now it's assessed at X+(2.5 x average appreciation). I'd like to know how to get aboard that cushy low property tax train but it didn't seem to slow down near my door. In my case inflated assessment's been an end run around the 1% rule.

I've said this before - as a relatively well-off but still decidedly middle-class person I'm so fucking tired of paying for motherfucking everything in this state. It's disgusting that the tiny elite class is immune to paying a fair proportion of their wealth to taxes. When I do a total figuring of all types of taxation my family pays damn near 50%. Wanna bet that Paul Allen is under 20%? We make enough now that in my 35 years of being broke or half-broke I'd have pictured first class flights and $100 haircuts - the reality is date night still gets skipped because a sitter feels like a big extra expense.

Such a shame we can't get an income tax passed in this state and instead keep championing "less regressive" taxes that dry assfuck the middle-class into zombie wage slaves (yes that's how zombie wage slaves are made, sans lube and cuddle)
14
Part of the blame also falls on Speaker Frank Chopp, as well as Transportation Choices, Futurewise, and other progressive transportation advocates. In the last session, all of them (with the notable exceptions of Cascade Bike Club and Sierra Club) acceded to the "gas tax and everything else" package, rather than demand a stand alone vote on transit. Chopp wanted to minimize the number of tax votes Democrats had to take. The advocacy groups decided that they were willing to accept billions for new highways in exchange for millions for transit and other good transportation stuff.
15
Metro should not cut any service in Seattle. Put all the cuts on the east side and auburn. If they have to cut all service to Redmond and Auburn to keep funding for Seattle, good. If they have to cut service to bellevue and the rest of the eastside by 80%, great. Refer all complaints to these scumbags.
16
@11 Research before you type.

The 1% limit is not in the state constitution. It is in state statute, as a result of an initiative backed by Tim Eyman.

Also, the 1% limit does not apply on a property-by-property basis. Instead, it applies to an entire jurisdiction. In other words, a city council raises TOTAL property tax collections by 1%, and the tax officials distribute this amount among all the properties. If your property value increases more than the average property value, you would pay more than a 1% increase, and vice versa. No one gets their tax rates held down because they've owned their property a long time (though this is, in fact, the way it works under California's Prop 13).
17
This is war.

In war we take no prisoners, we ignore the false politeness of politics, we destroy the enemy and we crush their supply lines no matter what the risks.

Never forget their envy of our 4.7 percent unemployment and the fact they live off of our work, not the other way around.
18
And what @6 said.

Let's do it as an Initiative and make them bleed.
19
Thank you Rodney Tom for protecting us from the money sucking transit nazis and their friends at Sound Transit and Metro. No new taxes!
20
It's vanishingly rare, as a Californian, that I get to look at any other state's fiscal house and think "there but for the grace of god go I."

Dear god people, get your shit together.
21
@9: You need to leave people's kids the fuck alone.

You might observe that, what with your regular batshitcrazy racism and anti-semitism, even the right-leaning commenters around here routinely ignore you.

Your comments do nothing but send people running in the opposite direction, because you are an utterly loathsome, morally bankrupt piece. of. shit.
22

@16

The 1% limit is not in the state constitution. It is in state statute, as a result of an initiative backed by Tim Eyman.


Simply wrong.


One Percent Limit (Ten Dollar Limit)

Beyond the principle of uniformity, the Washington State property tax system as we know it today really took shape in the early 1970s.

In 1972, Washington State voters amended the Constitution to limit the annual amount of property taxes that may be imposed on an individual parcel of property to one percent of its true and fair value. By law, tax rates are stated in terms of dollars per $1,000 of value. Therefore, the 1 percent limit is the same as $10 per $1,000.

Under the constitutional amendment, the one percent limit ($10 limit) may be exceeded only with the approval of 60 percent of the district’s voters.


http://www.leg.wa.gov/LIC/Documents/Educ…
23

#13

You could be a victim of the 1% limit as well (see #22) because it is an aggregate. That is, some properties can be allocated greater increases than others.

That's why you may be paying top dollar and an equivalent (or greater in value) property paying less than you!

It's a screwed up system, and it is the principal imbalance in all the state's taxing woes. Ignore it, and you ignore the Elephant in the Room (or Gorilla in the Middle...take your pick).
24
@22/23: You are completely wrong.
[quote]In 2001, voters passed Initiative 747 (effective in 2002), which
restricted taxing districts to a property tax increase of the lesser of
inflation, or one percent. This limit is on the taxes collected and not on
the growing value of the property. Thus, under Initiative 747, a taxing
district could collect only one percent more than the previous year’s
cumulative total of property taxes assessed within its jurisdiction.
Initiative 747 was drafted as a change to the 2 percent limit adopted in
Initiative 722. In November 2007, the Supreme Court held that since
Initiative 747 amended the two percent limit in Initiative 722 (which had
previously been invalidated by the court), Initiative 747 did not set forth
in full the law it amended as the constitution requires. However, that
same month, the Legislature met in special session and passed HB 2416,
reinstating the 1 percent levy limit established by Initiative 747. [/quote]
Statutory. The one you quote in 22 is a maximum TOTAL, not a maximum increase.

I refer to previous comments alleging illiteracy on your part.
25
@6: Yep.
26
#24

So you admit property taxes are unfairly assessed...not matter the reason.

And yes, because of this no tax scheme can be fair.

Therefore new taxes will always penalize someone unfairly.

Thanks. I'm glad we all can agree on this.
27
If you have a car worth $17K, you will pay an additional $255 on top of your car tabs.

$32K, aka the rough value of a Prius? An added $480.

You know why MVET advocates don't use the raw numbers and instead focus on the seemingly miniscule percentage? Because they know the cold hard truth would kill it dead in a second.

An exorbitant MVET had a large role in killing the Monorail. Once people saw what they actually had to pay into it, and realized they would be paying that each renewal for several more years... most turned against it in a heartbeat.
28
@16, can we PLEASE stop the Tim Eyman scapegoating? The dude is a douche warehouse, but most of his personal bank account triumphs were swiftly struck down in courts.

It was our idiot democrat senators passing revisions after the courts who enacted the "will of the people" nearly every time.

Rodney Tom is just doing what Rodney Tom does, its the rest of the democrat party line folks you need to be focusing on.
29
Won't our "uniter-not-divider" new mayor Murray still be in the legislature for the special session? If so, I know he'll get it all worked out for us. It's not like he is like a captain jumping from a sinking ship or anything.
30
@26: Where did you get that from? I said nothing of the sort, I merely quoted the section from YOUR LINK which proved that you were wrong.
31
I would love to take a watery shit on the faces on Tom, Hill, Fain, and Litzow.

I would especially enjoy taking my hands (in rubber gloves) and rub that watery shit into the eye sockets of Rodney Tom, one of the worst people in state politics, and one of the lesser humans we have to share this state with.

After rubbing my watery shit in Tom's eyes, I'd blow out the rest of my intestinal tract down his mouth, then punch him in the face and watch him bleed.

@17 - You are 100% correct. It's war, and we need to win.
32
After Seattle's try at a TBD, which I opposed, I went (as promised) to Olympia to try and win exemptions from the MVET for low-income people. Senator Frockt was a key helper in the effort, which was partially successful.

We were able to get an MVET rebate program inserted into the legislation. It was not what we asked for as we wanted it to be bigger and apply to people at 70% AMI, but we did have some success.

There is now a rebate of up to 40% of the "fee, tax, or toll paid for by the low income individual."

This applies to any household at 45% of AMI, adjusted for household size.

Any TBD encompassing 500,000 or more people is eligible.

We were not happy with the 45% figure, but it is what we had to put it at to get it through the GOP folks.

So while MVET is still regressive, it is not as regressive as it was in 2011.

David Miller
33
We need to replace the sales and other taxes with an income tax, way more fair and stable. Our tax system keeps the 99% fighting and resenting each other while the !% get richer. This is the way they want it. So stop bitching and try to change the system.
34
@32 what about low income drivers with $4000 rims and sound systems, will they get a freebie too?

No way King County voters tax themselves several hundred dollars a year to keep a bunch of college educate white urbanist a happy.
35
@33 I know what, put an income tax on the ballot!
36
@27 El Steven, you're not correct. The TBD does not allow a percentage MVET. It is only a flat rate.

$500 Yugo? As much as $100. $30,000 Prius? $100. $200,000 Aston? $100.
37
@ David Miller.

Speaking of other people's money...

Camp Fire. You seriously hurt the dreams
of many young kids, especially young girls
by blocking the sale of the property in Maple Leaf.

People will not forget.

38
@36: @27's reply was doing the math on the costs of the 1.5% MVET that was proposed during the last regular legislative session. 17000 * 0.015 = 255.
39
Troll @37: why so butthurt? Camp Fire got their money, they just got it from Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder, and not from the develop— *... *... *... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
40
Oh I see. Goldy is over here discussing raising regressive taxes meanwhile we're giving Boeing $8b in tax cuts in the SAME SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

You're failing at your ideals Goldy. Whatever happened to your ideals of pushing progressive taxation?

And all you fucking "liberal" readers are buying it.
41
@17 4.7%?! Citation needed.
42
Rodney Turncoat needs to go---preferably via garbage bag.
43
@17 & @18 Will in Seattle: GO, Will!! You tell it like it is!
This is indeed, war. It's time to make the insanely rich and corrupt bleed, and make 'em hurt!
44
Goldy also loves giving rich people hundreds of millions, because, sports!
45
Let's all perform a simple exercise.

It goes like this. We're all going to write an essay.

1000 words. We can do that, no?

I mean, that's what got most of you your pieces of paper declaring your middling literacy.

Your essay must begin with the following words -

"Empty busses roving around the east side are good because"
46
Q:
In the northeastern corner of the land of Denial, what canyon lies between recession and depression?

A:
Greatness.
47
Should it be hard to believe that Constantine would actually be comfortable raising the sales tax and raising a flat tax?

Two anti-progressive taxes just to 'get around' those republican senators? Worst idea i have heard all year.

If that is your best strategy to keep Metro afloat I would rather see it crumble and wait for the public outrage.
49
"I am a democrat, the party of tax the poor. We've won the race to the bottom on that score, now we must put space between us and all the other states."

-- Constantine, Phillips, Murray, Chopp, etc.
50
Uh, the viaduct mitigation money that causes you to speculate the sky would fall was only $75K over the whole project.

Chump change. That is NOT the cause of the rukus, and when plans are sold with crap misrepresented like it was a bazillion dollars, well, that is not good.
51
@27,

Thanks for pointing this out. Back in the '90s I was making so little money that I was forced to drive cheap beaters that I could pay cash for. Finally, after years of working under the hoods of these shitheaps at night with a flashlight in the rain so I could get to my shitty job the next day I was able, in 1998, to treat myself to a two-year old Ford that I paid $17000 for.

In going over the charges in the sales contract I saw how much I was paying in the MVET at the time, which was something like $595. I thought that was a one-time charge at the time of sale.

Imagine my shock when I had to renew my tabs the next year- MVET=$545. What??? Every year? I never had to pay that much for tabs; they were pretty cheap on the almost 20 year old cars I was driving before.

The state calculated the tax on the STICKER PRICE which no one pays, then 95% of it, then 95% of the last years MVET assessment. The State obviously thought I was driving a car that sold for around $29,500 (but really sold for about $24,500), and had depreciated in two years to $25,293. Again, I paid only $17000.

Once again in our glorious country the barely middle-class was getting screwed. So when I-695 came on the ballot, I voted for it. Yes I did. Now I didn't need to pay only $30 for tabs; I would have gladly paid up to $100 or so to fund transit and infrastructure. I was already paying close to that anyway with various other taxes tacked on.

But those were my choices in this, the most regressively taxed state in the country.

Of course answer is a progressive state income tax, balanced by reasonable sales and property taxes. But the rich who run the place won't tax themselves, so the barely middle class and the working poor are made to suffer, by being forced to move farther away from their jobs, to places where transit takes an hour and a half to get to if it goes there at all; or forced by transit cuts into their crappy cars with overtaxed tabs to choke overburdened streets and highways so they can make barely enough money to buy things with a 10% sales tax.

This state is fucked.
52
No. With all due respect, Dow, what we NEED is a state income tax so we don't have to rely on voters voting on REGRESSIVE taxes that make no sense and are not fair. And we need to get on that in a hurry.