City Hall

Get Ready to Vote on an $80 License Fee for Transportation

By Erica C. Barnett July 11, 2011

City council transportation chair Tom Rasmussen sent around a letter to his fellow this morning outlining a schedule for the Seattle Transportation Benefit District board to come up with a proposal to put an $80 vehicle license fee (VLF) on the November ballot. Last week, as we reported, the group charged with recommending a package of transportation investments to the council---the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board III, pronounced "Seatac Three"---released a proposal that includes major investments in new bike and pedestrian improvements, transit infrastructure, and basic maintenance.

By officially scheduling formal meetings to discuss the recommendations, Rasmussen is effectively endorsing a November vote---something insiders initially deemed extremely unlikely. In his letter to council members, Rasmussen wrote,
Given our increasing transportation infrastructure needs and an urgency to address the numerous mobility challenges that Seattle residents are facing, I am proposing that we convene the STBD Board in July and August to consider CTAC-III's likely recommendation to place a  ballot measure for transportation investments before the voters this November.  CTAC III has accelerated their work in order to forward a recommendation to us by July 15 in order to give us time to evaluate their proposal.

The city has until August 16 to forward a measure to the county elections department for the November 8 ballot. The council's first meeting to discuss a potential ballot measure will be Monday, July 18, right after the regular 2:00 full council meeting.
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