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Car Tabs

Dow Constantine New $20 Car License Fee

Here we go again.  King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to implement a $20 car license fee to fix more roads.  In the proposal he is urging the approval of the fee where 250,000 people live.  Many excuses where give why this is needed I particularly like that one about declining property values.  First there is no collation with property values and property taxes.  It nearly never adjusts and only goes up with regards to property taxes.  Don’t believe me compare your last couple years property taxes to this years.  Your home value went down and your property tax probably went up or stayed the same.  What a joke.  Next excuse was the declining population in these areas.  Well… if we have less population in these area that means we have less cars on the road causing damage.  Also means we should have less expenses when it comes to staff.  I assume staff is at a record high sitting around tables “just because”.  Give me a break this is a business so adjustments in regards to staff working, revenue, and population all need to work together.  Is this being done? I highly doubt it.

We also got to look at the county’s general fund.  73% of $680.6 million dollar budget goes to justice.  That means all the money is being spent on the Sheriffs, jails, courts, prosecutors, and defenders.  Obviously, this is the area that needs the most work so lets clean up the laws to quickly manage this better.  Dismiss the cases that obviously are losers, legalize things that should be like pot, and stream line the processes better.  Another 20% goes to the administration costs so that leaves like 10%.  This is just pathetic.

Another area of concern is the gas tax and where is that going?  Where are at an all time high right now and the city is making the most they have ever made.  We sure can come up with 50 million for a new arena tomorrow but can’t fix the roads?  Are you serious?

It seems the only solutions ever presented when financial times get rocky are tax increases.  They never cut and always pass the buck.

Perhaps if someone could figure out the bus routes more people would use them.  That is just one big cluster.


Transportation Funding Package

Hold on to your wallets. Seattle has created a “Seattle Transportation Benefit District”. This will consist of 9 Seattle city council members. One thing they are tinkering with is raising car tab fees. It will be divided up as follows.

  • an $80 vehicle license fee, with: 
  • 50% of the revenue would go to transit
  • 30% of the revenue would go to street maintenance 
  • 20% of the revenue would go to pedestrian, neighborhood, and bicycle improvements.

This message came out in “The Reader” that Mayor Mike McGinn sends out which is very informative but which I seldom agree with. The Mayor is blaming the recession AND the Eyman initiatives for all the money problems. He says he has no money for basic street maintenance. How can that be? Look all over the city at the projects going on. These are not basic maintenance. They have torn up my whole street and re-doing it when it did not even have a pot hole. They must have a list or plan to tear up a street every few years or who knows if they even have a plan. But the money the transportation department squanders would pave a yellow brick road most anyplace. Instead it just raises our property tax, car license fees and anything else they can sqeak through without a vote. Look what the city council did with the tunnel that no one wants, no one can afford, and will be so dangerous only a fool would go in it. Not sure if they are putting a bike lane in it for the Mayor or not.

When you count on the government to fix the problem that the government created, it will never work. I am not against future planning, I am not against rebuilding things that need rebuilding but we have a bunch of buffo’s that seem to just sit and make a plan and then tell us “worker bees” we are going to get a new road, a new bridge, a new tunnel and it wont cost us a thing. The city will pay and X amount, the state will kick in a few millions, then the good old Federal Government will surely write a check for the rest. They have not told most of the sheep out here that the money tree is really their own pocket. They count on you being so busy with going to work, and your family that you just pay your taxes and stay quiet. BUT right now people have lost their jobs, taxes are maxed but the planners are still planning away.

We need 9 council members that think like Tim Eyman and Elizabeth Campbell and there would be some changes in the city’s spending. The transit drivers are the third highest paid in the nation. That should change. The salaries they pay the people in the transportation department are obscene. Top dog at DOT has a salary of $600,000 and picture what the whole department squanders away. The more they raise the taxes the more raises and bonuses they will get. They muddle it by saying that appropriations committee set the funds aside, or they have to spend millions of city/state dollars to get federal funds but you never hear a thing about government efficiency.

“The Reader” said the Mayor and City Council members want to hear from you. Please contact them. Their addresses are on our website for your convenience here. If enough people start to complain someone will hear about it. Right now any letter I have written to the council members or my congressman had resulted in a boiler plate answer, one size fits all. I could have written a letter saying the “neighbors hamster peed on my lawn”, or tell them to put aside their “funding packages until the recession is over’, and I would have gotten the same answer from them. I want to give credit where credit is due. Mayor McGinn sends a boiler plate letter first but you do get a personal e mail that mentions what you had written him about.

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