King County voters will decide this April whether to raise the sales tax a tenth of a cent and approve a $60 car tab fee to fund Metro transit and road repairs.
King County Proposition 1 will appear on the April 22 Special Election ballot. Here is how KIRO Radio hosts are voting on the issue:
Dave Ross: "Yes"
"Everyone in my family uses the bus and uses King County roads, so I plan to vote yes. Especially since, with a 40 mpg car, I pay relatively little gas tax. However, if there's a cheaper alternative, like crowd-sourcing volunteer bus drivers and amateur road-building crews... I'd be happy to try that instead."
Tom Tangney: "Yes"
"I think a good bus system is an invaluable social service that big cities should do their best to provide. It's especially helpful to senior citizens, the poor, the disabled, and the young. But it also benefits drivers who may never set foot on a bus by getting more and more cars off the road.
"I am sensitive to the high costs of such a service but I think Metro has recently done a good job tightening its belt and its scheduling, so it deserves our support."
John Curley: "No"
"I think the thing is the fact that people generally have a distrust of government, they think it's inefficient at its very core. So when they hear that the tax revenues for Metro, more than $470 million, it's a windfall of more than $32 million that they had the previous years, they look at it and say, you know what, run your business better. We're not going to continue to subsidize inefficiency so we're going to vote no as a shot across the bow to say get your house in order before you come to us and start asking for more money."
Guest host Luke Burbank - "Yes"
"I think that for the City of Seattle to continue to grow, we're going to reach the point where it's just a given that you've got to get on the light rail or you've got to get on a bus to get into downtown Seattle. It's already almost there."
"Certainly the Eastside benefits greatly from the bus service because it has a nightmare trying to drive on those bridges […] Even somebody not taking the bus - the people on the bus are people who are not sitting in their cars further impeding you. I feel like the Eastside has a huge amount to gain from keeping the bus service robust."
Dori Monson - "No"
"Metro is going to get $470 million in sales tax this year. Plus, they have 400,000 riders a day and they can't make a go of it without another massive tax increase. This is one of the most outrageous things I've ever heard."
"I will be disappointed and disgusted if people decide to give another one and a half billion dollars to this inefficient bloated monstrosity that is Metro Transit."
Jason Rantz - "No"
"I can't justify any more taxes or fees that target drivers, particular since Seattle purposefully makes it harder for us to get around the city. I'm very sympathetic to low-income users, but the majority of Metro users choose to ride - let them pay higher fares to fund the system."