The News Tribune reports that Councilmember Muri (R-Steilacoom) wants the council to take a position in opposition of Pierce Transit’s (PT) Proposition 1 which will avert a roughly 35% reduction in service. As pointed out it is unusual for elected officials to officially oppose propositions from other government agencies.

In a move not often seen in local politics, Muri said he’s authoring a resolution that the council oppose the measure on the Feb. 8 ballot. He brought the issue up twice today, first during the County Council’s weekly Rules and Operations Committee and again during a mid-morning study session.


The Tacoma City Council, meanwhile, will consider a resolution in support of the transit tax hike during its meeting at 5 p.m. tonight.  Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland is a member of the Pierce Transit board and co-chair of the Proposition 1 campaign.

Since Muri brought the issue  up only this morning, it was too early to tell which way his colleagues were leaning – except for Farrell – and whether he can gain majority support.

Farrell is the County Council’s delegate to the Pierce Transit board and a man who knows the county’s bus system well; he’s a regular rider.

He made it clear this  morning – as he has in public meetings over the last several months – he believes the increased tax is vital. Without it, he says, bus service will be cut severely – and some people who need it will be cut off completely.

Muri said he’s “never seen so much angst” from constituents as he has regarding the Pierce Transit proposal, which would increase the sales tax it collects by 50 percent – from .06 cents to .09 cents on a dollar. That’s the difference between 6 cents on a $10 purchase and 9 cents on a $10 purchase.

Tacoma Tomorrow has some good background on the “Save Our Buses” campaign and precedence of transit measures in Pierce County.

12 Replies to “Pierce County Councilmember Muri Wants Council to Oppose Prop. 1”

  1. Pierce County median income: $45,204. Assuming a household spent 100% of its income locally, that’s only $406.836 annually. And how many spend 100% of their income annually? Or 100% locally?

    (Census 2000 data)

    1. Take out rent/mortgage, taxes, gasoline and food. The increase would amount to about $68 if they spent half their income in the state on items where sales tax is applied. Fewer buses will mean more traffic congestion.

      I wonder how they will feel when gas breaks $4, but they no longer have the choice to takes a bus?

      1. Plus the 18.4 cent per gallon Federal excise tax. And, there is actually a “sales tax” on gasoline in WA called the GRT (aka the B&O tax).

  2. Its intresting to watch the naysayers. Most seem to be from the Tea party side of things and beilieve that PT has high wages, and that private industry can operate the service better. Either by total free enterprise, or by sub contracting. The amount of factual knowledge about the system and tranisit operation in general seems quite low in this crowd. Although i think a discussion needs to be had after the vote about some of the key points they raised, issues like top salarys and overtime. Would this actually appease the nay-sayers, probally not but it would be good P/R.

    1. in a civil discussion, why do you have to bring up opposition of your opinion as “Tea Party side of things” This sticking thinking is what is wrong with our country today. I am leaning toward voting in favor of even though I dont use PT and would like services to be retained for those that depend on it. maybe there are better ways to run the PT more effectively.

  3. Perhaps I am being dense–but wouldn’t an increase from 6 to 9 cents on the a dollar mean a change from 60 cents to 90 cents on a 10 dollar purchase? I really do not understand this.

  4. Councilmember Muri pulls that constituent angst bullet out too often; it’s starting to lose it’s effectiveness, Dick. We talk about living wages (which I assume extends to those in public agencies), but then get grumpy when we have to pay the taxes to support them. I’m pretty sure my parents’ taxes and my own have helped build the lovely Air Force pension that he earned when serving our country. Have you ridden a transit bus, Dick? Most drivers face surly and unstable patrons every single hour. Are they not deserving of decent pay and retirement?

    I’m hoping he, and all the other politicians who are set to vote against supporting Prop 1, have minivans because they’ll be plenty of folks in their districts–some who even smell and talk to themselves!–who need rides to school, appointments, groceries, etc.

  5. The problem I see is you have exspeneive Desiel buses with 90% vacant driving around Tacoma all day long! Why doing we look at using smaller vans, do the not so used routes and sell of the the excess overhead.

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