Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Walla Walla Union Bulletin Calls for no New Sales Taxes for Valley Transit and More State Funding for Transit

The Walla Walla Union Bulletin printed an editorial yesterday discussing the financial perils of the Valley Transit System. The editorial in full can be found here and it is well worth the read.

A few observations:
-This is another sign that the financial crisis of transit agencies is not only a problem with the State's larger urban systems. In our post-Eyman work all transit agencies rely on the sales tax and the sales tax revenue is crashing in 99% of the counties statewide. If Island Transit does not pass their sales tax increase today they will be facing 30% cuts and Valley Transit faces 25% cuts if they do not find new revenue. These are small rural systems that will literally be cutting service from entire communities in the face of the funding crisis.
-The editorial is harsh on the option for increasing Valley Transit's sales tax authority. This in unfortunate because right now that is the only viable option the legislature has allowed them to turn to in order to maintain their service.
-On the other hand, it is good to see that Eastern Washington editorial boards in rural areas understand the value of transit service and I couldn't agree more with their closing paragraph:

When the state's economic situation improves the Legislature should put more money into public transit around the state

1 comment:

  1. There is a transit constituency that
    would support its continuance even though it had no ridership and was 100% tax payer subsidized. We have witnessed three decades of practic-ally empty buses running around on streets badly in need of repair and maintenance