Both the House and Senate in Olympia have released details of their revenue plans. As we’ve noted before, to the extent that these eliminate sales tax exemptions, they will also slightly increase revenue at local transit agencies, all of which rely on sales tax for a large chunk of their revenue.
The House proposal (thanks Publicola) contains, by my count, $458m in new sales tax revenue from repealed exemptions in the 2011-2013 biennium. Our Metro revenue predict-o-tron tells us that that amounts to about $12.5m a year for King County Metro, or about 100,000 service hours. That’s about a quarter of the budget hole Metro faces in that period. For Community Transit, it’s about $2m, not enough to restart Sunday service, but enough to buy back about a third of the weekday cuts.
The Senate budget is presented in a way that makes it much harder to figure out what’s sales tax, but my count (see this) says that there’s about $180m for the state over two years, or $5m a year for Metro. An email to Sen. Murray to clarify the numbers did not generate a response in time for this post. Anyone who knows more about the taxes mentioned here is welcome to correct the record on this.