Results as of 8:01 p.m. for Edmonds Proposition 1, which would add $40 to the $20 fee for vehicle registrations, to pay for Edmonds street and sidewalk projects:
EDMONDS TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT
Vote Count Percent
APPROVED 2,740 28.74%
REJECTED 6,793 71.26%
Total 9,533 100.00%
The next Snohomish County update is scheduled for 10 pm.
@Ron Just watching last night’s Council meeting. Thank you for the work you put in to ask such detailed and “on point” questions. Your questions have helped inform me on many issues. Thanks again.
Now that’s a lot of people voting and making their decision known. Would be interested to understand whether it’s a ‘no’ about the money only a/o the plan. It was both in our household as the plan had too much downtown/Bowl identified, neglecting the clear issues in other parts of town.
With so forceful and lopsided a rejection of Prop 1, I have to believe it’s about the plan AND the money. The package was full of things that didn’t appear to survive cost-benefit analysis. And while $40 wouldn’t have bankrupted most Edmonds households, it’s wrong to take any citizen’s money for granted at a time like this.
Hopefully this result will encourage the city to stack-rank road projects more sensitively, explain the need more exhaustively, and ask for funding more respectfully. No more of this “It’s only $40” stuff. I’m sure the right roads-funding package could / can be passed. This wasn’t it.
Thank you for your kind comments. I regret having to hit staff with questions about their work in an open meeting. My preference is to get my issues resolved via emails, and that has worked until Mr. Hines arrived on the scene. His policy is to not answer emails from anyone, so I’m left with no choice but to surface financial issues at city council meetings.
Please keep commenting on this site, as many of us welcome your intelligent remarks.
It wasn’t the money for me. It bothered me that it is asking the poor to pay just as much as the rich. The tax system in this state is already too regressive, to add yet another regressive tax (call it a ‘user’ fee if you want…it is still not fair to those who struggle). I don’t mind adding taxes for a good cause, but let’s do it as a percentage fee…not a flat fee.
If this process happens again, the better way to identify and justify would be to ask us to tell them where our local traffic/transit issues exist. Again, too many places not on the list for overlay or as a ‘project’ that are more severe in impact than not having another sidewalk on a street of low traffic volume. I wonder how well TBD and staff know the workings of our City.
For me it was about the money as well as the necessity.
Local governments were only authorized to establish TBDs *and* impose vehicle fees in 2007, so the fact that Edmonds had established the TBD within 1 year and was imposing fees 4 months after that either suggests that Edmonds has a major transportation infrastructure problem (unlikely) or they just wanted spending money. The fact that they’re coming back the very next year for TWICE what they asked for originally–to be added to the original $20–just makes them look like teenagers trying to see how much money daddy will let them put on credit card.
It’s a hard sell, particularly when you see how opportunistic other governments have been about it. To wit, the others (including hopefuls) are Bellingham, Bremerton, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, King County, Lake Forest Park, Liberty Lake, Lynnwood, Olympia, Point Roberts, Prosser, Ridgefield, Seattle, Sequim, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, University Place, and Yakima County. Not all passed but all have tried. Imagine living in Seattle or Shoreline, where your city, county, supraregional agency (RTA/ST) and state are all trying to get a piece of the action on your vehicle registration.
Keep in mind: we were asked to pay $40 for this proposition on top of $20 for the TBD on top of the RTA fees on top of the taxes on top of the “processing” fees on top of the base registration fees. Many of us would be paying hundreds of dollars per car per year, just years after the $30 tabs initiative. Also keep in mind we pay into transportation at the federal and state levels, often including tolls, gas taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, sports and luxury taxes, and so on. In fact, below is a possible scenario for someone in the Seattle area paying for transportation:
-0.9% RTA sales tax
-$20 for driver’s test and license, once (ideally)
-$25 for license renewal, every 5 years
-$10 sub-agent fee for title transfers
-9.8% use tax on vehicle sale (average tax amount is $1994.79)
-$5 sub-agent fee for registration, every year
-$32.14 average RTA registration tax (based on auto averages), every year
-$20 TBD fee, every year (depends on area)
-$15 emission testing, every 2 years
-$150 minimum remedy receipt if your car does not pass emissions
-$55.50 license plate replacement, every 7 years
-$20.00 sub-agent fee for plate replacements, every 7 years
-$40.00 fee if you want to keep the same license plate number, every 7 years
-18.4% federal gas tax, amounting to average $129 every year average
-37.5% state gas tax, amounting to average $263 every year average
-property taxes (varies too much to estimate, but it’s the lion’s share of $$$, in many cases thousands)
-sports taxes, luxury taxes, etc. etc. etc.
When you do the math on this it can add up to $10,000 over the lifetime of each car. Hopefully this makes it easier to understand why they didn’t want to tack another $40 onto the annual registration bill.
$40 per vehicle is too much in these economic times. Prop 1 is indeed regressive, and the citizenry sensibly decided this was not the way to pay for transportation projects.
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