1-1_Bus_Downtown_Sign_Seattle TMP photos 226

The Seattle Times Op-Ed board:

Seattle’s hourglass geography, increasing density and booming economy demand a world-class transit system. Metro still has work to do to restore lost credibility, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

Vote yes on Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1.

Many people expected the Times to recommend a No vote on this, based on the paper’s previous record of opposing transit funding. To me, however, this is an easy Yes for the ed board, for three reasons: (1) it’s narrowly focused on bus service and nothing else (2) it’s popular – Seattle voters have shown clearly they want to tax themselves. (3) it doesn’t go out of its way to soak the rich. (I’m avoiding using the “r” word here, but I’d be surprised if that wasn’t a factor in the board’s support.)

There’s another ballot measure on the horizon, for Sound Transit 3. It, too, will be narrowly focused. Expanding light rail is popular as well. It will be interesting to see how the Times comes down.

12 Replies to “Seattle Times: Yes on Prop. 1”

  1. The only thing I can figure is that maybe they think that by having Seattle pass Prop 1 now a future ST3 ballot measure focused on LR will be less likely to pass region wide. You know, get Seattle to spend locally and inside the city limits while soaking up tax headroom and maybe ST3 will get fewer Seattle votes and be more likely to fail district wide.

    This might be just one more front in Kemper Freeman’s anti transit war — get Seattle to blow their taxing authority inside the city limits and maybe he has a better shot of protecting the rest of the county from the evils of transit.

    I think it is stupid, but it is the only thing I can think of that would explain why the Seattle Times would support Prop 1 now, while being against the previous county wide measure.

    1. I think the Times editorial board is on vacation and the interim board has different views. Tuesday’s editorial was also surprisingly liberal, and a couple others the past two weeks were also pro government spending. Maybe the editors are changing their minds.

      Was the Times against ST1 and ST2? I suspect those were the only transit measures it did endorse, because “regional transit”.

    2. The Times seems to represent suburban interests more than Seattle, so maybe their thinking is that if Seattle passes this, it decreases the call for county-wide taxes for Metro.

    3. Or maybe they think that by Balkanizing transit in the region they diminish all transit on the region.

      1. Is King County Metro Transit officially divided- or is this just a matter of paying for its own service, and leaving chance open for county voters to change their minds?

        However Balkanized revenue thinking is right now, passengers’ working and college-attending lives are not.

        Incidentally, am I the only one who wonders what would happen if city and county took same attitude toward streets and roads as they’re doing for transit?

        Point is, if transit is doing anything to make private car-driving less complicated than transit- let’s do something different.


      2. Mark, if you will recall the county-wide Prop. 1 back in April had some raods money in it.

        Other municipalities could do the same thing Seattle is doing to add service in their own areas.

  2. Well, Seattle Times, it would have been nice for you to say this about King County prop 1 back in April. Sigh….

  3. You’re going to avoid using the “r” word? Well, if that ain’t a perfect summation of Northwest politics, right there.

    Due credit given for linking to a piece addressing regressive taxes head-on.

  4. As you should avoid the “r” word. Apart from the nominal sales tax increase, it couldn’t be much more progressive. Take it, drivers!

  5. I think that your analysis is pretty good, Frank. The Seattle Times editorial board is definitely part of the class war of the 1% against the 99% but they also like to be on the popular side as long as rich people continue to get a free ride.

  6. If the Seattle Times editorial board wants to prove their mettle, then I look forward them throwing their weight behind a good Roads Only package; Statewide or Regional.

    Of course, we would need either Tim Eyman, or the legislature, or a regional governing body to come up with a good votable package.

Comments are closed.