Chris Karnes at Tacoma Tomorrow has a blistering take-down of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s decision not to support Pierce Transit’s measure at the ballot this November. At stake is a draconian scenario– a devastating 50% reduction in service should the sales-tax increase fail to pass. Accompanying the cuts could be major economic impacts, many of which seem to have been overlooked by the Chamber.
Karnes estimates that tens of millions annually have already been diverted out of the county since service reductions began in 2007, and that additional cuts might exacerbate that impact more than twofold:
In total, more than a hundred million dollars that could have stayed in Tacoma each year, in the form of good jobs for bus drivers and money in people’s wallets, will head out of town in the form of car payments and gas, if Proposition 1 fails in November.
The most significant difference between this year’s vote and last year’s is that PT is dealing with a new service area, one significantly smaller than its predecessor and which omits exurban cities that have had historically anti-transit voting records. While the new demographics are more favorable toward a ‘yes’ vote, the spread of misinformation, or at least lack of information, can easily corrupt the hearts and minds of voters who will believe anything they read.