Citizen opinions are key

Recently, Community Transit gave the city of Everett a proposal to co-create one transit agency to serve Snohomish County more efficiently.

The Herald reported our disappointment with a biased telephone survey the city conducted on the proposal and then released to the media (“Everett, CT spar over poll debacle,” Sept. 26). However, we are still very interested in working with the city on this important idea.

Fortunately, the poll indicates most people in Everett prefer one agency. Their concerns, however, are about taxes and local decision-making.

Decisions on transit sales tax are a local issue that must be decided at the ballot box. This is the law. A fundamental goal of creating one countywide transit agency is to improve local and regional bus service for the people of Everett. Yet, the city’s survey claims taxes will increase without any added service within Everett. This is not true. No one expects voters to support a sales tax increase without receiving the benefit of improved service.

This year Community Transit will provide almost $3.8 million worth of service in Everett. It is funded by sales tax paid by Snohomish County citizens outside of Everett. Even if Everett citizens are asked to consider paying three-tenths of 1 percent more in sales taxes for service they already receive but are not paying for, they would decide the issue locally at the ballot box. No local decision-making on taxes or service will be taken away. Such an increase would equal 30 cents more on every $100 dollars spent on taxable items within the district.

I urge citizens to get involved in this critical proposal. My board members and I would be happy to answer your questions.

Community Transit

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