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Vote no on the King County transportation measure | Letter
Letter to the editor
If King County were to ask you to pay $24 per vehicle per year in order to give this money to your city, just in case they needed it for transportation issues, would you vote for it?
This is the "enticement" King County is offering vehicle owners to get them to pass the ill-conceived car-tab fees to fund Metro.
There is no specific goal or problem to be solved with this money. If the county stuck to their core issue of funding Metro and dropped the roads "incentive," the proposed tab fees would be just $36 per vehicle instead of the requested $60. Neither of these fees would be needed if the state legislators would do the job they're paid to do and pass a state transportation package.
In 2012, the Kirkland City Council determined that there was a need for a roads levy and proposed it to the citizens of Kirkland. The citizens responded and voted to pay for road improvements through property taxes. Now, less than two years later the county is asking for more money from the citizens of Kirkland to pay for Kirkland roads.
You might also note that in the county's proposal, the fees would be generated per vehicle but the funds will be distributed by population. This will ensure that some of your money goes to Seattle. At least with the Kirkland roads levy the money stays in Kirkland.
And what about the county's needs? This past winter we all heard how the county did not have the funds to plow major roads should the need arise. Will the car tab fees fix this? In the county's own words:
"The proposed allocation to Road Services -- about $6.2 million in 2015 -- is far less than the revenue needed to keep roadway system assets in their current condition. The County Executive remains committed to working toward broader funding solutions for the county roads system."
Two wrongs don't make a right and two bad propositions don't make a good one. So, from one "funding solution" to another, I urge you to vote no on the county's transportation funding proposal.
Don't worry, though, with the Lake Washington School District bond issue also on the ballot in April, along with the Kirkland Aquatics funding coming your way next February, you will still have plenty of opportunities to spend your money.
Jim Boril, Kirkland