The voters of urban Thurston County rallied last night behind a measure on the ballot to save Intercity Transit’s bus service, according to Thurston County’s early election returns.
Yes – 18,242 – 64%
No – 10,442 – 36%
The measure, which seems likely to easily pass even once all votes are counted, raises Intercity Transit’s sales tax rake from 0.6% to 0.8%. Without this revenue increase, service would have been cut, we wrote last month:
The revenue predicament of Intercity Transit should by now be familiar. Tax revenues are down about 13% from 2007 levels. The agency has already cut some nonessential programs and raised fares, and is now facing a 9% cut in February 2011 and a further 14% in 2012.
The state’s limit on sales tax authority for transit agencies is 0.9%, providing room for an additional increase if even more service is desired by future voters. King County Metro, facing its own shortfall in coming years, is already at that limit.