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County Foot-Ferry Tax Proposed

In his new 2008 budget, King County Executive Ron Sims has proposed a property tax hike of 5 cents per $100,000 assessed valuation to fund a King County passenger-only ferry district. Gregory Roberts reports in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

A 5-cent tax would cost $20 a year for the owner of a $400,000 home; Sims will send a specific proposal to the council next month, but the tax won’t be more than 5 cents, his aide said. A 5-cent tax would raise $16 million a year. The money would be used to run the (passenger-only) ferry from Vashon Island to downtown Seattle, which the state currently operates but will not support beyond 2008, and possibly for new ferries crossing Lake Washington or sailing on Puget Sound from South King County to downtown.

The county ferry district, created by the council earlier this year, also would likely take over Metro’s Elliott Bay water taxi between downtown and West Seattle.

All three taxes could be adopted by the council without a popular vote, and a majority of the council has signaled support for each of them. But council members said Monday they want to consider the cumulative effect of the taxes before acting on them.

A Seattle Times story on Sims’ proposed 2008 county budget notes four public hearings are scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. in coming weeks, as follows:

  • Tues. Oct. 23, Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center, 401 4th Ave. N., Kent;
  • Weds. Oct. 24, West Seattle High School cafeteria, 3000 N. California Ave. S.W., Seattle;
  • Tues. Oct. 30, Bellevue City Hall, council chambers, 450 110th Ave. N.E., Bellevue;
  • Thurs. Nov. 1, King county Courthouse, council chambers, 10th floor, 516 3rd Ave., Seattle.

Cascadia Center

Founded in 1993, as the Cascadia Project, Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center for Regional Development is an important force in regional transportation and sustainable development issues. Cascadia is known for its involvement in transportation and development issues in the Cascadia Corridor, Puget Sound and in the U.S.-Canadian cross-border realm. We’ve recently added to that mix through a major program to promote U.S. efforts to reduce reliance on foreign oil, including the earliest possible development and integration of flex-fuel, plug-in, hybrid-electric vehicles.