Legislation that would have expanded cities' and counties' authority to pass new taxes to pay for transit appears dead, the Everett Herald reports, as the special legislative session draws to a close.

The bill would have allowed counties to impose a local-option gas tax of one, two, or three cents per gallon; allowed transportation benefit districts (Seattle is one) to impose a vehicle license fee of up to $40 (currently, Seattle charges a VLF of $20); and allowed counties to charge a motor-vehicle excise tax of up to 1 percent.

Transit agencies across the state have been cutting back service. Community Transit, which serves the area north of Seattle, has cut service by 37 percent; Pierce Transit, which serves the area south of Seattle, has cut service 35 percent; and King County Metro has only been spared major cuts because of its $20 vehicle license fee, which runs out next year.
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