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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pierce Transit to Slash Service by Another 34 Percent

Posted by on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 9:01 AM

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners voted last night to cut service by 34 percent, starting September 29, 2013. The service reductions come in the wake of the defeat last November of a proposed three tenths of a cent sales tax increase. The cuts will likely include the elimination of all weekend and holiday service because the working poor who rely on bus service never work weekends and holidays. Or something.

“We understand these reductions will deeply impact thousands in our communities,” Tacoma Mayor and Pierce Transit Board Chair Marilyn Strickland said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision.”

These cuts will come on top of a 35 percent service reduction just last year. That's a 57 percent cut in service over just two years.

Pierce Transit, which relies on sales tax revenues for 71 percent of its operations, has seen a four-year decline in sales tax revenues, but the legislature refused to grant it the same temporary car tab authority King County Metro exercised last year to stave off deep cuts. Fifty-six percent of Pierce Transit riders earn less than $20,000 a year, and 45 percent do not own a working vehicle. But, you know, fuck 'em.


Comments (23) RSS

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Did King County raise taxes (for public transit) as well as getting the car tabs funds?
Posted by sardy on January 17, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 25
The Pubes only have the state senate because politicians are notoriously greedy and opportunistic. More care for their own careers than about the people they govern. This is especially true right now. There is something inherently wrong about jumping parties between elections and the start of the sessions, and these politicians should be ashamed.

Shame (n) - 1. the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another; 2. disgrace, ignominy

There is no shame in politics anymore. Or consciousness. Or conscience.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 16, 2013 at 5:15 AM · Report this
@20 - 'Stupidity' (I much prefer to call it ignorance) is nothing major that a good education in citizenry cannot remediate. Unfortunately said education won't be forthcoming as long as corporatists control public discourse.
Posted by anon1256 on January 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
@15, only regressive types believe that public transit should not get subsidy. Time for you to crawl back under your rock, wingnut.
Posted by anon1256 on January 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 21
@17 With the exception of I-1098, The Stranger has not been at all forceful with their idea of a progressive taxation. If anything, they've been practically celebratory of sin taxes, fees, car tabs, bridge tolls, plastic bag fees - as a side note, I love the ban; hated the fee - sales taxes, gas taxes, and every other way one can nitpick the money out of the wallets of the various sub-upper-middle classes in support of the sucktastic regressive taxation system we have inherited.

Even when we did have the majority (a mere week ago), we weren't exactly doing anything to promote progressive taxation. During the last lapse of Eyman's initiative, all sorts of sin taxes and regressive taxation passed. WHOO HOO. Go rich people!

@18 Easy there pardner. There is a taxing shortage...but its not coming from us working class. Nosiree bob. Well, it is because we're not getting paid like we used to. But, who is getting paid like they used to? The top tiers...who also pay the least in terms of tax rate. But, they'll milk us for all we're worth, and The Stranger (and especially Goldy) is happy to oblige by opening their wallets and say, "Please don't cut off our services, suh. We'll be good."
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
@19: sadly incorrect. Stupidity explains it. Look at Mister G and the other trolls. They want the same things out of government, but without paying for them. Then they vote for unfunded mandates for more state spending, and are shocked when disaster results.
People always want more for less, and that is just really not how things work.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
After the repeated failures of "small government" ideology without reversal of the neoliberal tide, only the absence of an audible political alternative explains that people keep voting against their own best interests. Voting the lesser evil ad-infinitum will never provide us with the political leadership needed to present a clear republican and democratic alternative.
Posted by anon1256 on January 15, 2013 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@16, maybe you didn't notice that the Tim Eyman time bomb got passed AGAIN. Maybe you didn't notice that the Republicans control the Senate and thus the entire legislative agenda. Maybe you didn't notice that The Stranger HAS, in fact, argue forcefully in favor of a more progressive taxation over and over again.

How are you going to "hold their feet to the fire" when most of them are against you? YOU DON'T HAVE THE VOTES. It's as simple as that.

The problem is that the working and middle classes have been persuaded that taxes are bad no matter what they're for, and that the rich should continue to get a free ride forever. So we continue to turn into Mississippi.
Posted by Fnarf on January 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 16
@14 No. Wro-ong. You don't have to convince the voters. You have to convince the legislature to put something together that a) doesn't have a sunset clause [biggest fear mongering of the Steve Ballmer campaign in 2010); b) completely restructures the tax system; c) redistributes the tax burden off the poor and back to at least even if not progressively onto the rich; and d) closes business tax loopholes that everybody has been giving since Microsoft moved their financial HQ to Arizona! And, if one of the most liberal newspapers in the most liberal city of Washington isn't going to hold anybody's feet to the fire about this, instead supporting regressive taxation structures, then who the fuck is fighting for the common people? Because it certainly isn't you, Goldy. You're just strapping the system in tighter every taxation you get.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Goldy 14
@12 Yes, the perfect way to convince voters to vote for taxes is to give them a government that doesn't work. Smart thinking!

@13 The original bill would have given Pierce, King, and Snohomish the same $20 tab fee authority, but legislators didn't believe that Pierce and Snohomish had done enough to rein in costs.
Posted by Goldy on January 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 13
Why did the legislature refuse to give them car tab authority? Are Pierce County's lobbyists less effective than ours?
Posted by keshmeshi on January 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 12
@11 If you're not going to help the situation, stop making it worse. If we make the government suffer bad enough through a failed regressive tax structure, soon they'll have to realize that they have to fix the regressive tax structure into a progressive tax structure. Or does that logic only work for plebeians and their driving and shopping habits?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Goldy 11
@10 You're right. I'm the problem.

Since I can't convince Washington to move to a more progressive tax structure, the only reasonable alternative is to dismantle government, come what may. My bad.
Posted by Goldy on January 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 10

Where are you at with that whole coming up with a progressive tax structure instead of shilling for ever more regressive ones?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 15, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Cascadian 9
We'd be better off in the long run if the military bases in Pierce County closed and were turned into wildlife sanctuaries (or returned to the Nisqually tribe, where appropriate.)
Posted by Cascadian on January 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 8
What do you expect? Pierce County has a high percentage of military, many of who are not from the area, and not staying. Why should they vote for transit?

That's what you get when you tie your fortune to the military. What will they do if the budget cuts eliminate one of the bases, or cut the number of people assigned to them?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Knat 7
@1: I believe economists consider a recession at an end as soon as a fiscal quarter shows growth over the previous quarter, not when things get back to the levels they were previously. So, while things may be getting better ever so slowly, we're at a pretty deep nadir to work back from.
Posted by Knat on January 15, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
sloegin 6
The poor in this state are heavily overtaxed compared to other states, while our wealthy are seriously undertaxed. And yet we keep proposing additional regressive burdens one after another.

Small wonder.
Posted by sloegin on January 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM · Report this
stinky 5
What was painful to watch as the votes were reported was how the number of people that undervoted on this proposition far exceeded the margin needed for it to pass. Did they fail to understand the issue or was it hard to find on the ballot or what?

In the end, the margin of loss was a fraction of a percent.
Posted by stinky on January 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Austerity wins! Austerity wins! …and we all lose.
Posted by Timothy on January 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Lew Siffer 3
Respect the will of the people.
Posted by Lew Siffer on January 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
How many of those impacted failed to vote for the increase? I'd really like to know. And how many of those who failed to vote now regret their error?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 15, 2013 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 1
The so-called eCONomic "recovery" is a huge fraud. If the recession-depression really ended in June 2009, wouldn't tax revenues have returned to normal by now? Instead, the (formerly) middle-class is imploding faster than a half-century old Vegas hotel, while the super-wealthy are laughing all the way to their taxpayer bailed-out private bank.
Posted by Original Andrew on January 15, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this

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