Senate Bill 6582, which made it all the way through both houses and a conference committee, is now likely to never get final approval from the Senate, reports Jerry Cornfield. As is so often the case, it’s been blocked by Senate Transportation Chair, Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island):
Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, [in the House version of the bill] proposed allowing counties to charge residents an excise tax of 1 percent on the value of their vehicles with the approval of voters. And if a county chose not to do this, a transit agency would be allowed to seek voter approval of a half-percent MVET of those living within the boundaries of their district…
Haugen didn’t like this idea. She preferred only transportation benefit districts be able to impose an MVET. Her opposition didn’t soften and by March 23 — the 12th day of the month long special session — Haugen forecast its fate.
“In my mind, I don’t see how we can move it,” she said.
The bill originally passed the Senate by a 1-vote margin, so there may be other Senators with veto power that aren’t speaking up.
Given successful public votes, the bill would have restored Community Transit’s mid-decade level of service and prevented deep Metro service cuts after the CRC authority runs out in 2013.