Pending Gov. Jay Inslee’s signing of SB 5987 Wednesday, the Community Transit Board of Directors Thursday will discuss and vote on a provision of the bill that allows the agency to seek voter approval for additional sales tax revenue to fund transit improvements.
SB 5987 authorizes Community Transit to seek up to three-tenths of one percent (0.3 percent) sales tax to fund transit. The agency has sought this legislative authority since it began cutting service in 2010 due to the recession’s impact on revenue. Community Transit cut 37 percent of its bus service, including suspension of Sunday and holiday service.
Last month, the agency brought back minimal Sunday and holiday service as economic recovery has fueled increased sales tax revenue. Community Transit has not asked voters for a tax increase since 2001, and that was to offset the loss of motor vehicle excise tax funding following Initiative 695. The agency’s last tax increase for more service was in 1990.
The Community Transit board will hold its regular quarterly workshop at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 16 in the Community Transit Corporate Board Room, 7100 Hardeson Road in Everett. The board will consider whether to place a transit funding measure on the November 2015 general election ballot.