Councilmembers “disappointed” by County Council’s decision to deny public vote on car tabs

King County Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer have released the following statement:

“People expect to have a say”

The Metropolitan King County Council today unilaterally adopted a $20 congestion reduction charge that will supply $50 million over the next two years for bus service in King County. Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer expressed disappointment with the decision, preferring an option that would have sent the fee to a vote of the people in November.

“I’m deeply disappointed that the majority of my colleagues found it necessary to deny the people the right to vote on this very important matter,” said King County Councilmember Dunn, Chair of the Council’s Regional Transit Committee. “There have been numerous votes on car tabs through the years and the people expect to have a say.”

“Voters have made it known through the initiative process that they wish to cap car tab fees, and I believe that any altering of this should be done by a vote of the people,” said Councilmember von Reichbauer.

The $50 million raised by the congestion reduction charge will be paired by existing Metro reserves that will maintain the current level of bus service in the transit system. Those funds will be allocated using the recently adopted Strategic Plan for Public Transportation.

“As Chair of the Regional Transit Committee, I led the landmark process of replacing the 40-40-20 policy with a performance based system. My one consolation is that Metro will be forced to become more transparent and efficient as a result of these new policies,” said Dunn. “Unfortunately, we will be right back here in two years facing exactly the same problem when this fee ends.”