King County Executive Dow Constantine on Tuesday proposed an April 22 vote on a tax measure to sustain current service levels at Metro Transit and to support county and city road departments.
County voters would decide whether to increase sales taxes by a tenth of a penny per dollar and to enact a flat $60-a-year car-tab fee, for 10 years, if the Metropolitan King County Council adopts his plan.
Together the new revenue would provide $80 million for transit and $50 million for roads the first year, the county predicts.
In addition, King County Metro Transit fares would increase 25 cents in March 2015. That would boost the top fare to $3.25 for a peak, two-zone adult trip through Seattle and a suburb.
King County has warned for months that without a new revenue source, Metro transit service would have to be cut by up to 17 percent deleting 74 routes and changing scores of others.
County leaders in 2013 asked the Legislature to allow a county-only, car-tab tax based on a vehicles value; the Legislature didnt act.
Key state legislators, notably Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, have insisted that local transit taxes be yoked to a statewide highway plan, to prevent pro-transit voters from turning against gas taxes and highways.