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Proposition 1 debate: Should we pay higher taxes for King County Metro buses?

Will Knedlick, who wrote the opposition statement in voter's guide, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski join The Dori Monson Show for a debate of Proposition 1. ( Skorheim)

Taken from Thursday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

Ballots are in the mail on King County Proposition 1 to raise your car tabs and the sales tax for Metro Transit and some road projects. I’ve made it clear that I’m very opposed to this, but what I wanted to do was bring in somebody from both sides and I will just be an unbiased moderator as we talk about this proposal.

My guests to debate the issue are King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski and Will Knedlick, who wrote the opposition statement in the voter’s guide.

Here are their initial statements on the issue:

Why is this a good idea?

Rod Dembowski: This is a balanced proposal that saves Metro from devastating cuts, over 500,000 hours of service that are in the budget today that will occur if we do not raise some replacement revenue and new revenue. So that’s the first thing it does is it prevents cuts to the system. The second thing it does is put a $50 million annual investment into our country streets and roads and bridges. $130 million a year [is raised by this]. It’s 40 percent streets and roads and 60 percent transit.

Let me be clear on this, this is very important. We’re only filling the hole to the extent that there is any excess revenue collected over that, we split it 50 [percent] roads, 50 [percent] transit. That was a piece of the legislation that I worked on to make sure that it remained balanced and that we weren’t just pouring money into Metro without end.

Why is this a bad idea?

Will Knedlick: It’s a $1.5 billion band-aid over 10 years to replace a $50 million band-aid over two years that we were promised would go away when the revenues got back to where they should be. They have gotten back to where they were, and they are more. So now that they have more revenues than they’ve ever had before, they want to add $1.5 billion.

It just goes to show that if you don’t have any kind of boundaries – whether it’s a salary cap, or a luxury tax on baseball, or a county government that puts some limits on the excessive operating expenses of Metro Transit – you’re going to have a never-ending, infinite regress always asking the taxpayers for more.

Listen to the full debate:

Taken from Thursday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.


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