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Enumclaw residents vote on King County Proposition 1 April 22

The city of Enumclaw has made its position clear regarding Proposition 1, but local voters still have nearly a week to make their feelings known.

King County’s Proposition 1 is on the April 22 ballot, meaning voters have until Tuesday to get their ballots stamped and in the mail.

The ballot measure provides an interesting convergence of big-city and suburban priorities with rural skepticism. In Seattle, Bellevue and other places where gridlock is rampant, Prop 1 is seen as a way to pump needed funds into the Metro transit system. In less congested parts of the county, voters might wonder what they would be getting for their money.

Proposition 1 – if passed – would add an additional vehicle license fee of $60 throughout the county. In addition, it would increase the countywide sales tax rate by one-tenth of 1 percent. Those revenue-producing measures would be in effect for 10 years and cost the average county family about $11 additionally per month.

An existing Metro-based license fee of $20 is set to expire, making the net license fee increase $40.

If Prop 1 passes, the bulk of the new money – 60 percent, after administrative costs – would go to Metro; the remaining 40 percent would be made available for road improvements in King County’s cities and unincorporated areas.

Proponents say Prop 1 will keep vehicles off already-congested roadways. The list of cities that have gone on record supporting the measure includes – but is not limited to – Seattle, Redmond, Kent, Mercer Island, Tukwila, Des Moines, Auburn, SeaTac, Duvall, Renton, Maple Valley and Federal Way.

Opponents of Prop 1 argue that the problem isn’t with revenue, but that Metro Transit’s operating costs are out of line.

Beyond that, it’s argued that too many people are being asked to pay for a service they historically do not use.

The “con” statement in the county’s voters pamphlet maintains that residents of south King County pay 31 percent of the transit taxes while receiving 22 percent of the transit service.

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