About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tax "Payroll" Not "Sales" to Fund Metro

Seattle Mayor Murray’s and King County Executive Constantine’s proposal in the May 13th Seattle Times that “cities and employers outside Seattle pay the full operating cost of whatever bus service they want to buy” ignores the fact the 0.9 percent sales tax those living outside Seattle already pay far exceeds their “fair share” of the Metro costs.  (The fact both are members of a Sound Transit board that’s spending hundreds of millions each year on East Link light rail that will gridlock I-90 and on Central Link extensions to Lynnwood and Federal Way whose operating costs deficits will dwarf the $75 million Metro shortfall raises questions about their financial acumen when it comes to transportation issues.)
The whole idea of a using a “tax on sales” to fund public transportation is questionable.  The vast majority of those using public transit are commuting to “work” not to “buy” things.  (Very few people who buy things at Bell Square rode there on buses). Since “workers” are the ones who benefit, it seems only fair to require they and/or their employer pay with some sort of “payroll tax”.
Rather than ask cities around Seattle to pay more for their Metro bus service and Seattleites to pay more in sales tax and car tab fees (also of “questionable fairness”) Murray and Constantine should require employers and those who work in Seattle to pay a “payroll tax” to fund the current shortfall.  The fact they recently managed to force employers to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour suggests they could easily impose the payroll tax needed for Metro 

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