A proposal to increase taxes in Seattle to fund
transportation work was approved a week ago. Voters authorized a nine-year,
$365 million tax increase to pay for various transportation projects in the
The package, which received 53 percent approval from voters,
will be paid mostly through higher property taxes. New taxes on commercial
parking lots and an employer tax also would be tapped for funding.
Supporters said the levy was needed to catch up on a $500
million backlog in transportation construction and repairs. The money will be
earmarked for road, bridge and sidewalk repairs, as well as transit, bike path
and safety improvements.
Opponents of Proposition 1 said government should pay for
such things with existing taxes, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
reported. Others said the plan contributed too much money to non-essential
projects, such as planting trees.
On the heels of the proposition's passage, regional
officials said they plan to ask voters to increase revenues for transportation
next fall. Voters in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties would be asked to
decide whether to increase their vehicle fees and sales tax for major highway
and transit expansions.