Lynnwood transportation-tax opponent seeks alternative approach

By Evan Smith

Former Lynnwood City Councilman Ted Hikel says that the Lynnwood Transportation Benefit tax proposal takes the wrong approach to getting citizen support.

Hikel, who wrote the voters’ pamphlet statement against the proposal, said Oct. 16 that he could support a tax measure for Lynnwood streets and roads if it would propose a property tax instead of a sales tax and if it included a specific list of projects to be paid for.

He said that Lynnwood Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 would give the city a sales-tax rate that would match the highest in the state, something that he believes could drive business away.

He also said that money in such measures often is spent for things other than what voters want.

In the voters’ pamphlet statement against the proposal, Hikel accused the city of “spending our tax dollars on fancy street signs, remodeling City Hall and spending more than $300,000 hiring consultants.”

Proponents argue that the measure would allow the city to maintain streets at a small fraction of the cost of fixing them later.

They also note that the proposed tax increase of a tenth of a cent per dollar is half the size of a proposal that voters rejected last year.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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