FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/21/2014
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Councilmember Sawant statement on Metro Cuts and proposed ‘Plan B’
SEATTLE – City Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued the following statement regarding the impending Metro cuts and the proposed Plan B Measure:
"A functioning transportation system is critical to the working people who make Seattle and the wider region run. The ongoing cuts to Metro disproportionately affect low-wage workers, the elderly, the disabled, and people of color. As a regular bus rider, I stand with other riders in King County who are opposing devastating cuts to these services. I am also in solidarity with Metro workers who are threatened with layoffs and a proposed wage freeze.
"The primary solution being put forward to address these cuts is the Transportation Benefit District Proposal (TBD), also called Plan B. This would cover the $74 million shortfall by using regressive taxation in the form of increasing the Vehicle Licensing Fee (VLF) and raising sales tax by 0.1%. Washington State has the most regressive tax system in the nation. This proposal would force the same low-income households, already battered by the recession, to again pick up the tab on behalf of big business and the wealthiest 1%. Moreover, the TBD will not permanently solve the crisis and working people will be asked to pay again and again.
"Seattle and King County have an obligation to find progressive and permanent sources of funding to ensure cuts are averted, fares are reduced, and that Metro service is expanded with new priority given to chronically under-served neighborhoods."