On the heels of Whatcom Transit Authority losing in their attempt (by 1.8%) to increase the sales tax and maintain service levels, the City of Bellingham is looking to step in and save bus service in the city itself:
Leaders of the newly formed citywide transportation district wants to ask voters for a sales tax increase this fall, instead of imposing a $20-per-year car tab fee, which could be done without voter approval…
An official decision to put the issue before city voters in November will be made Monday, Aug. 9.
The city would spend the roughly $3.8 million generated by the sales tax increase for annual street repaving, installing sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, and contracting with Whatcom Transportation Authority to replace bus service that’ll be cut this fall.
The license fee would have only added about $800,000 annually, so the sales tax option brings more revenue.
Voting in November, when turnout increases, and limiting the vote to the more pro-transit city itself seem like big winners to me. Those of you who live in Bellingham or know someone who does are encouraged to contact the City Council to support the vote, and then start registering young people.