The State Legislature concluded its second special session of the year this morning after approving a supplemental budget and several other bills. Left on the floor was Senate Bill 6582, which would have given authority to counties, and possibly transit agencies, to seek voter approval of a motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) for transportation needs.
The bill existed in many forms throughout the sessions this year. In the end, it would have allowed counties to seek voter approval of an MVET up to 1 percent of a vehicle's value at registration. The county would have had to talk with local cities and transit agencies about how that money would be used. If the county did not seek the funding, the local transit agency could seek approval for up to 0.5 percent of a vehicle's value. That option could have created as much as $15 million a year in new funding for Community Transit, if approved by voters.
Last month, a letter was circulated to legislators urging passage of the bill, signed by all members of the Snohomish County Council as well as regional elected officials and business leaders. Community Transit will continue to push for additional state funding leading up to the next session which begins in January 2013.
For now, Community Transit's new funding will be coming from increased sales tax revenues as the economy recovers. Go Buy Local for Transit!