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Pierce Transit's 0.3% is Justified

Back in May, all areas in green left Pierce Transit, taking $8m/yr in revenue with them.I was prompted to make this post because I have heard a couple of readers of FeedTacoma indicate that they don't understand why Pierce Transit is asking for 0.3% to restore bus service.  Why not 0.1% or 0.2%?  It's a good question and one that I feel is worth addressing.If you can spare a minute, the simplest explanation is this:Sales taxes in 2007 were coming in at a rate of $77m a year and now have declined to $63m this year, a difference of $14m a year.Earlier this year the service boundary was revised and some cities (Sumner, Bonney Lake, and Dupont) chose to leave, taking $8m a year in sales taxes with them, bringing revenue down to $55m.At this moment, mainly because of Point 2, Pierce Transit is dipping into a limited pool of reserve funds to maintain operations that help people get to work, school, and appointments each day.  I hope I don't need to remind you that bus service has suffered a 43% cut since 2007.On the revenue side, in the Pierce Transit service area, each additional 0.1% is ~$8m/year.0.1% - or $8m, would only back fill the sales taxes lost from Sumner and Bonney Lake and Dupont.0.2% - or $16m, partially restores service lost during the recession, but takes much longer.0.3% - or $24m, gets the system growing again and back to good service levels by the late 2010's.That is why Pierce Transit is asking for 0.3% - to restore lost funding from the recession and from the boundary revision - gradually regrowing the system back to adequate service levels by around 2017.  Please vote to Approve Proposition 1.  Thanks for your support, Tacoma. ...read more

by Tacoma Transit Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:00am