YES on PROP 1 - Restore Transit Now God Damn It!

Else Pierce Transit is F.U.B.A.R.
posted Oct 16, 2012
tacoma, tacomic, elderly drivers, restore transit now, proposition 1, vote yes, election 2012, mass transportation
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There is a quote from one of my favorite movies REPO MAN that goes something like this: "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are... that's how come I ride the bus."  I hate driving.  I hate insurance companies. I hate emissions testing. I hate highways. I hate Federal Way. I hate Lakewood... I hate that for years as a child I obsessed with hotwheels and cars and was never educated about how absolutely destructive they have been on this planet.  Yes mass transportation is the real salvation of all humanity and civilization as we know it. We had electric railways! We were swindled out of them all by the great satanic car companies by gum!  So now we have a crippled bus system... and now there is a chance we might not even have that. Think man! The only thing between you and a horrific automobile related death is public transportation!  VOTE YES ON PROP. 1, Take the keys away from granny and get her an Orca card. I'm not hot dogging you... I get my information from NPR about elderly death race 2000


Probably the most fun conversation can be seen here.

Can you guess who endorses Reject Prop 1 site?  Our friends the Chamber of Commerce the most anti-people organization in the history of organizations. Fail harder Chamber of Commerce!

save toontown

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 2:30am
like it!

or no...

by cisserosmiley on 10/16/2012 @ 5:47am
One time an old lady hit me on my bike @ 26th n Union. She lied in the post crash info exchange. LAME !!!

by tacoma_1 on 10/16/2012 @ 6:00am
Vote for prop1!  And never trust old ladies (at least the old ladies that are driving over you with their cars).

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 7:39am

i'd rather be hit by an old lady driving a car than an old lady driving a bus.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 8:06am
Pretty good.  Thanks placing the links to both sides. It has been a one sided discussion up to a few weeks.

Still, setting Tacoma sales tax rate to the highest of any city in Washington State is still economically reckless and likely damaging to Tacoma's economy, reputation an City of Tacoma budget IMO.  If the other 200+ cities in Washington can function with a 9.5 sales tax rate or less, Tacoma should be able to as well.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 8:23am
Update: Controversy on the voter pamphlet statement on whether the rebuttal statement in the Pro Prop 1 statement is correct:

From their FB page:

Yesterday, I received my Pierce County Voters’ Pamphlet and I was shocked! Transit officials lied to voters!

Their rebuttal statement reads: “Transit opponents need to get their facts straight… Sales tax will not exceed 10%.”

Not true! The sales tax WILL exceed 10%! All new and used auto sales in Tacoma will be 10.1% if Prop 1 passes and voters deserve to know the truth!

An automobile is typically the second largest purchase a person makes and the tax rate will be 10.1% every time a car is purchased in Tacoma.

Ballots get mailed Friday, and voters need to know the truth before they vote!

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 8:25am
look out highlighter attack!

by Jesse on 10/16/2012 @ 8:41am
Adding .3% to the sales tax means that that .3% will be about 1/33 (or 3%) of the new sales tax rate.  That also means that, in dollars, if over 1/33 (or 3%) of all dollars leave the county in sales because of the 10% mark, you lose the entire bump of the sales tax increase overall.

Transit doesn't care because that's an overall figure.  If 1/33 (or 3%) of revenue is lost, it's lost over all organizations that use the sales tax as revenue streams.  Therein, they lose only 3% of their bump.

So the question is, do you think that, in overall dollars, that over 3% of people will leave the county to buy their big ticket items?  

From experience living in Vancouver, WA., which is right on the boarder of sales tax free Oregon, I can tell you that people cross the bridge into Oregon to avoid sales tax on pretty much anything over the $100-$150 range.  Because of this, there are no furniture stores or electronics sold in Vancouver.  If you buy a car in Oregon, as a Washingtonian, you pay Washington sales tax where you live - so the tax free situation in Oregon doesn't apply to cars. On a $100 purchase, a Vancouverite saves $8.60 in taxes if they go to Oregon.  If $8 is enough to make them travel 10 miles into Oregon, don't you think that $500 in increased sales tax on a new car will make Tacomans and Pierce County residents drive to Olympia?

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 8:52am
  "Transit opponents need to get their facts straight" Marilyn Stickland

hahaha, but...

it's OK if the transit proponents don't get their facts straight.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 9:26am
I don't give a crap about sales tax %%%   when i'm being run over by grandma's gas guzzler.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 9:29am
you can fix the 10.1% typo by penciling in the .1    

where does the 10.1% number even come from?  That number is meaningless to me personally.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 9:35am

look at this clip art Pierce Transit sent me...  is this the face of a liar?

by dolly varden on 10/16/2012 @ 9:41am
Erik and Jesse are letting an abstract and unfounded fear of 0.3% get in the way of supporting a decent transit system, which is needed to make this city more livable, humane, and attractive to businesses (who need employees to be able to get to work) and young people.  Good transit in a community is way more important to a functional urban environment than protecting the health of auto rows like those in south Tacoma and Puyallup, which I'm sure will find ways to stay competitive with Thurston County.
Yes, our state has a regressive and bassackwards tax system, but we have to live with it until we don't -- tax reform is a fight for another day (probably a day a ways in the future, as neither candidate for governor is inclined to fix it...). 

by cisserosmiley on 10/16/2012 @ 9:46am
It will be fascinating, if p1 passes, to watch where the transit tax $$$'s are being shifted from. There is a finite amount of cash and an increase @ pt means a shift from other purchasing. It will take 2 years to get data. 

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 9:50am
Dolly you discredit the postings of people who exhibit an "abstract" fear of future events.

Then you go on to create your own abstract fear.

You claim that if Tacoma doesn't get the .3% sales tax increase that our city will be less livable, less humane and less attractive to businesses.

That's an abstract fear of a future event.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 9:50am
@dolly - agreed.Erik, How come in the TNT piece you helped co-author (  you say the Tax rate would be 9.8% but everywhere else you say 10.1%? Is that because the sales tax on cars would be 10.1% but everywhere else it would be 9.8%?Is this like saying you pay 10.1% tax for a beer at safeco field (because the stadium tax adds an additional percentage to the sales tax everyone else pays?)

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 9:53am
Tax Rate finder from ... Hmm +.003 = .098  not .101 ...

Retail Sales/Use Tax
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 2717
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .030
Total tax rate .095  
Confirmation code6A7FCA3517

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 9:54am
An increase in sales tax rates DOES NOT mean that sales tax revenue will increase.

It depends on how future economic activity compares with current economic activity.

If sales in the taxing district deline by even a small amount, perhaps even a few ten's of a percent, then sales tax revenue will actually go DOWN.

Wow, talk about the law of unintended results. The tax rate increase could result in PT getting less money from sales taxes than it does today.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 9:55am
fredo - this is why we need a wholesale tax reform in WA state, including a constitutional amendment that allwould allow that reform to happen.

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 9:57am
"Sales tax will not exceed 10 per cent" Mayor Strickland

That statement is either true or untrue.

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 10:00am
  "this is why we need a wholesale tax reform in WA state, including a constitutional amendment that allwould allow that reform to happen." Joel

Well, passing a bad tax bill like Prop. 1 doesn't do anything to advance the cause of tax reform that you desire so fervently.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:02am
Depends how you look at it:

Vehicle Sales/Leases
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 2717
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .030
State Vehicle Sales Tax .003
Total tax rate .098

Vehicle Rentals (less than 30 days)
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 2717
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .030
State/Local Rental Car Tax .077
Total tax rate .172

Other Sales (parts, service, etc.)
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 2717
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .030
Total tax rate .095

Lodging Sales
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 2717
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .030
Special Hotel/Motel .020
Total tax rate .115

Lodging Sales 26+ Rooms
Effective dates 10/01/12 - 10/31/12
Location code (view map) 5117
City......................................... Tacoma
County....................................... Pierce
State Sales and Use Tax .065
Local City/County Sales and Use Tax .020
Convention and Trade Center .030
Special Hotel/Motel .020
Total tax rate .135

I don't see the hotels or the rental car companies writing op-ed pieces, do you?

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 10:09am
Thanks Joel for this information.  

You've just demonstrated that, depending on the product sold or rented in Tacoma Washington, consumers will be charged anywhere from 9.5% to 13.5%.

The new prop. 1 rate will add .03 to these rates.

Therefore the sales tax rates will increase to a range of 9.8% to 13.8%

You should have been there to help Marilyn Strickland write her voters statement. Facts are "important" to Mayor Strickland.    

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:10am
@fredo - re: tax reform/passing a "bad tax" No it doesn't further that. But I depend on public transit, and my commute has already gone from 2.5 hours per day to 4 hours per day due to the current cutbacks. I'm willing to pay this tax, and the additional $7/$1000/yr the TSD will ask for. I want services, and this is how I have to pay for them. I personally think there's a better more predictable way to do it than with sales taxes.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:12am
I was just "highlighting" the fact that Erik isn't stating all the "facts" either.

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 10:16am
Joel, people like you, and I don't mean this with unkindness, need to consider moving closer to where you work. 

The reason that proponents are pushing this measure is to help the poor and disabled. You don't qualify for this group. People with good jobs like you should pay the full cost of your trips. Instead of paying the subsidized $2 fares you should be paying the full $12 to $20 dollar cost. Trying to hide behind the skirts of some poor people to ride cheaper is called freeloading.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:19am
No unkindness taken, I know I'm in a special position. And if the wind isn't too horrible and logistics allow, I do bike to TDS to catch the ST bus to work.

I'm actually trying to do the the opposite and work closer to where I live.

I also enjoy poking the beehive on FeedTacoma ;)

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:23am
Technically, I don't pay the $2 fare because I work for "the state" and the state pays for me to take public transportation to work. However, my employer pays for twice the rides that are actually used. So through what I pay to my employer for my bus pass am I actually paying $4 per ride on PT and $7 per ride on ST?

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 10:48am
@Joel: I don't think there is any dispute as to what the resultant sales tax rate would be if Proposition 1 passes.
The general tax rate for most items would be 9.8 percent in Tacoma. The sales tax rate for auto sales would be 10.1 percent.  Both of these sales rates would be the highest of any city in Washington State. 

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:52am
Yes, but the vote no signs say 10.1%... which is just as misleading as the voter pamphlet saying they won't go above 10% ... and in many of your arguments on facebook, etc. you've used the 10.1% number. Not arguing, just wagging fingers at both sides.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 10:55am
And since we're nitting picks: here is a current cost of living comparison between Tacoma and Seattle, based on my current salary:If you move from Tacoma, WA to Seattle, WA....

Groceries will cost: 4% more
Housing will cost: 17% more
Utilities will cost: 6% less
Transportation will cost: 10% more
Healthcare will cost: 10% more

So... to rehash some conversations. will 0.3% more in sales tax make a difference? No. Would it be better for me to move closer to my job? No.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 11:09am
man I love Joel. 

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 11:19am
also, special guest star: "The Bluesmobile" ! 

(Bluesbrothers available now on VHS at the Central Tacoma Free-Radical Media Exchange)

by KevinFreitas on 10/16/2012 @ 11:24am
Nice work Joel! Cars will be at the 10.1% rate? Great! I don't want a new car anyway. Pretty sure my new bike was at the lower, retail rate anyway. Transit is good. Opponents need to tell the whole story.

by KevinFreitas on 10/16/2012 @ 11:26am
So, why @Erik are you so opposed to Prop 1 when you pride yourself on walking everywhere (and not driving or buying new cars all the time)?

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 11:28am
higher divorce rates? 

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 11:34am
So, why @Erik are you so opposed to Prop 1 when you pride yourself on
walking everywhere (and not driving or buying new cars all the time)?

A close call.  However, below is the reason I believe Prop 1 would ultimately cause more harm than good:


NO: Measure would burden the poor and harm Tacoma's economy

Tacomans have been extremely generous in the last few years,
paying an ever-increasing sales tax rate for new or increased government
services. For the first time in Tacoma history, Tacoma's sales tax rate
has recently matched the stratospheric tax rate of Seattle itself of
9.5 percent.

Yet in November, with Proposition 1, Pierce Transit will ask
Tacomans to pay a record combined sales tax rate of 9.8 percent, an
increase of 0.3 percent. If Proposition 1 passes, Tacomans would be
forced to pay the highest sales tax rate of any of the 200-plus cities
in Washington state for the first time in Tacoma's history.

Rather than proposing an increase with a sunset provision,
Pierce Transit is seeking a permanent increase, even if and when the
economy improves.
Collecting revenue though high sales taxes is widely
considered unjust as it places the tax burden disproportionately on
lower-income individuals.

A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy -
affiliated with the liberal-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice - found
that the lower 20 percent of Washingtonian earners pay 17.5 percent of
their income in taxes each year, while the wealthiest 1 percent pay a
mere 3.3 percent.

A 2010 Stranger article concluded that Washington state has
the most regressive tax system in the country. Thus, if Tacoma adopts a
9.8 sales tax rate, our city will arguably become the most regressive
and unfairly taxed city in the United States.
Attempting to force Tacoma merchants to impose the highest
sales tax rate in Washington could also have extremely harmful effects
Tacoma's economy, on the ability of small businesses to survive and
exacerbate the City of Tacoma's budget shortfall.

A 2009 study by DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for
Metropolitan Development found that communities near a border, where
higher sales tax rates existed, suffered significant losses in retail
which could be attributed partially to a shift in consumer buying
because of varying sales tax rates.

Given that Tacoma is surrounded by lower-taxed regions,
consumers could easily avoid paying Tacoma's record sales tax by
shifting their spending habits by just a few miles away from Tacoma,
especially for higher-ticket items such as cars and appliances.
Alarmingly, Proposition 1 is being proposed before any study
or analysis has been conducted to analyze the potential harm to Tacoma's
economy from spiking the sales tax rate.

Tacoma cannot simply ignore other cities; we must compete with
them. Should there be any significant shift in consumer spending out of
Tacoma through imposing the highest tax rate in the state, the City of
Tacoma could experience an even great future budget shortfall requiring
an even larger layoff of fire and police personnel than is currently

The City of Tacoma wisely recognized that the B&O tax was
driving businesses outside of the city and lowered the rate for small
businesses. It would be shortsighted to make the same mistake with the
sales tax rate.

Furthermore, Tacoma would shortly be known as the "most highly
taxed city in Washington state" should the record sales tax rate be
imposed. Thus, consumers may likely be dissuaded from shopping and doing
business in Tacoma for the reputation alone, in addition to the actual
real effects. Tacoma's past failure to take into consideration how it is
perceived has been devastating for the city.

Although well-intentioned, Proposition 1 unfairly targets
those it purports to help and threatens Tacoma's economy and the city's
budget itself.

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 11:43am
Non-sequitor warning!

When TSD was considering consolidating and shifting some of their schools around last year I went to an open house and approached the Dep. Superintendent for Facilities (Sam something)  and asked him to see more specific data specifically asking him about the size of classrooms and how they determine if a classroom has the square footage appropriate for the number of students to be placed in it. He told me that it was a complicated big excel spreadsheet and I wouldn't understand.

I asked him what part of my years as a data analyst with a graduate degree in information management would confuse me when I looked at the data, and he excused himself from the conversation.

I'm a data guy, when I ask for data, give it to me.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 11:45am
See also a similar discussion re: Tacoma's job killing B&O tax rate discussion.  Fortunately, the city reduced this tax so hopefully more small businesses will locate in the city rather than in the remote suburbs:

Year after year, Tacomans watch in dismay as businesses relocate to
Fife,to the suburbs in Pierce County, and to other cities to escape the
cost and hassle of dealing with Tacoma's Business and Occupation
(B&O) tax.

The well-intentioned but ill-advised tax has left
parts of Tacoma eviscerated while driving businesses into parking
lot-saturated sea of strip malls across Pierce County.The
destructive effect of the B&O tax on Tacoma has long been
acknowledged but the political will to eliminate the tax has always been
lacking in Tacoma.

The City has increasingly become dependant on
the tax, enacted in 1951 on private businesses.  Meanwhile, non-profits
and large government entities have managed to avoid the B&O tax as
well as other taxes.....

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 11:46am
More fuel for the tax reform fire!

by KevinFreitas on 10/16/2012 @ 11:57am
Thanks for the copy/paste @Erik. Which part of that particularly earns your scorn? No sunset? Higher tax at all?

Food for thought: When will driving finally become too expensive for people forcing them to choose alt forms of transport? (e.g. carpooling, transit, bike, walk, working remotely) To be driving is a luxury too long afforded to our US car culture.

by JesseHillFan on 10/16/2012 @ 11:58am
I don't see how the added tax would burden the poor since those with low income generally can't afford a high price item such as a car in a dealership anyways.Most of those whom are low income would purchase a used (junker) car from a private dealer or perhaps a car auction.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 12:02pm
There is a great deal written about unfairness of using a regressive sale tax to fund government.Here is a good one printed in the Stranger I have linked to before:

Washington State has the most regressive taxes of any state in the country. In Washington, poor people pay 17.3 percent of their income in taxes, while the filthy rich pay only 2.6 percent of their income in taxes. This is the result of our state's heavy reliance on the sales tax, which accounts for over 50 percent of all state revenue. Imagine two families, one rich and one poor, going to the same store and buying the same basket of goods and subjected to the same sales tax. For the poor family, it's a much heavier burden than for the rich family.

The sensible way to even out the tax burden is to tax income, like most other states. But Washington doesn't have an income tax. Never has. Hence our status as a national embarrassment—more regressive on taxes than even Texas or Georgia.

by KevinFreitas on 10/16/2012 @ 12:08pm
Agreed @JHF. And thanks @Erik. So, really, we do have a far larger discussion on our hands than just Prop 1. So why not vote "yes" so people who aren't going to burdened much since they're not out buying cars can have a way to get around (e.g. a stronger bus system) and take this energy to the state level to go income based instead of sales based? Somehow I'm guessing the anti-anything called a "tax" folks out there would far prefer sales tax be the thing to help keep their rich buddies rich.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 12:13pm
@Kevin: There are a lot of reasons that raising Tacoma's sales tax to the highest level in state would be a bad idea that I mentioned in the article.  Hard to choose just one. 
One additional reason is that the tax increase is being asked based on current economic circumstances. Yet, if and when the economy improves, the permanent sales tax increase would still be in effect, presumably forever.

by Erik on 10/16/2012 @ 12:18pm
If a new tax were imposed, it should be related to transportation such as a car license fee or gas tax. I don't think either of these taxes would effect buying patterns of consumers in Tacoma.
There is no nexus between a general sales tax and Pierce Transit's purported needs.
I have been voting, like most people on all of the various tax proposals that have gotten Tacoma to have a sales tax rate of 9.5 percent which Seattle has.  However, at a certain point, the cumulative tax rate becomes harmful.
Also, if Seattle along with the other 200 plus Washington cities can get by on a 9.5 sales tax rate, so should Tacoma.

by tacoma_1 on 10/16/2012 @ 12:22pm
It won't be long till Seattle raises their sales tax to pay for naked pot smoking bike boulevards. Just saying. 

by cisserosmiley on 10/16/2012 @ 12:28pm
I will move there if that happens

by tacoma_1 on 10/16/2012 @ 12:34pm
Hell yeah!  I didn't say it was a bad thing. 

by Joel 413 on 10/16/2012 @ 12:45pm
Also of note, if Prop 1 passes, then the transit portion of sales tax will be 0.9% which is the maximum amount they are AUTHORIZED to tax under their charter. They could have been charging 0.9% all along. Therefore, without changing their charter, if they get in trouble again, they cannot raise taxes anymore.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 1:01pm
all this blabbering about taxes is a distraction from the violence of elderly drivers.

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 1:40pm
Enjoy the transit ride:

by JesseHillFan on 10/16/2012 @ 1:45pm
It's not just the elderly drivers (whom should not drive) that worry me but also the impaired,distracted drivers and those whom have a medical condition while driving too making their vehicle into multi ton dangerous flying bomb.My friend from Olympia told me a few days ago that a motorist just plowed through his fence went over another stone wall and landed right in his living room.Fortunately he,his wife and infant child were not there at the time of the incident.

by low bar on 10/16/2012 @ 2:34pm
Hey fredo you making fun of the war now? Where was that picture of that bus taken?

by Maria on 10/16/2012 @ 3:16pm
A well-funded, healthy public transit system is a hallmark of quality cities. Transit helps lower pollution, improve traffic congestion, provide means of getting to entry-level jobs, keep seniors/disabled/lower income folks active and make cities more walkable. It's important for tourism, for business, for education and for the public interest.

The downside of a very small additional tax is not enough to justify voting against this. I care for car dealers too (many are small business owners who give back to the community). However, they can offset the difference with special deals, rebates and other offers.

The plight of the urban working class, especially the working poor, is too important to allow the public transit system to be gutted. Young people, wage earners from poverty-level households, students and seniors make up a large percentage of transit riders. If they can't get to jobs or schools--we'll be paying more than .03 to subsidize food stamps, DSHS, prison sentences, drop-outs from school, etc. Poverty is a complex subject, but the availability of work (and transportation to jobs) is a huge part of improving living conditions.

If I have to choose between having considering the economic vulnerability of car dealers / purchasers of cars (who can absorb these kinds of impacts more easily), and the members of society who have the fewest resources--I definitely will chose the latter, especially with the minimal increase.

I say this not just as a Christian, who has a moral imperative to care for those with less power. I say this as someone who loves (and studies) urban planning, architecture, culture and community. Every great city I've lived in has a healthy public transit system as part of the infrastructure. What we have now is not adequate, and if further cuts are made, it's going to be like expecting a team of Chihuahuas to compete in the Iditarod.

We don't need to be Uncle Moneybags handing out cash to the downtrodden but let's also not be Scrooge McDuck here. Hard work is so much better than public assistance. But people need to be able to get to jobs--and transit is a key part of that.

PS. City of Tacoma, good job cutting the budget. Keep trimming/planning and allocating resources wisely so we can lower sales tax a bit. Pierce Transit--negotiate with employees and keep trimming/planning. The days of generous perks and largess are over for both private and public entities, at least until the economy recovers. If this funding passes, it's a moral obligation for you to use this money wisely.

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 4:25pm

  Maria we could have this utopian transit system that you favor without raising taxes. Pierce Transit just needs to cut salaries and wages down to reasonable levels.

by low bar on 10/16/2012 @ 4:48pm
And there is Fredo again with the American dream killing and American business killing.

Bus drivers earning $30 before taxes puts them in the bracket closer to those being income taxed at 17% in WA.

Bus drivers have families that maybe want to go to college, or start a business. Well if they can't loan money to their kids for college or a small business start up, then that kills their shot at the American dream. 

Owner of a car dealership, their income probably puts them closer to the 2% income tax rate. They earn more then bus drivers and are taxed less.

I guess what Fredo is trying to say, is he only wants the American dream to be for the rich. He only wants the families of auto dealership owners to go to college or afford health care.

So basically Fredo's utopia only belongs to a small group of people. In Fredo's America, the American dream is only for a small amount of rich people.

Those aren't the values of the people of WA. I can tell you that. I don't know how anyone would let people like Fredo get away with being so selfish.

I'd love to know if you have a business Fredo, and what that business is called, so I can boycott it out of Tacoma.

by Jesse on 10/16/2012 @ 5:00pm
@Maria:  Personally, my argument is against the manner in which taxes will be collected for the system.  The increase in sales tax to 10% on cars, compounded especially with the B&O tax (that punishes big ticket/small profit sellers like autos, furniture, etc.) will result in businesses leaving the Tacoma market.  Just with the B&O tax alone, how many car dealerships have moved outside of Tacoma to avoid it?  That's zero tax revenue collected for Tacoma BTW.  Proof?  Fife.  Look at Fife and how ripe it is with old Tacoma businesses it stole so the big-money-slash-little-profit-margin businesses can escape the B&O tax.  Now combine that B&O tax with about 1% higher costs, direct to consumer, versus 20 miles down the freeway.  It's a recipe for the remaining businesses to pack up and leave Tacoma.

I don't think that anyone is arguing that the transit system isn't needed or worthy.  It's about the tax method and ramifications that will happen because of it.

I say use tolls to fund transit... but that's Jesse's utopian world.

by low bar on 10/16/2012 @ 5:12pm
Yes Jesse and some of us have a problem with how the middle class has been under attack since the late 60's. Some of us have a problem with that "manner".

You think business is going to move away from the area because of this? Going to move away from all the business a giant military installation brings? Then GO!! Please do! All the vacant stores will just fill up with people who can take over the business w/o whining about having to contribute to the community whom they get the business from in the first place!

Go Jesse get the hell out of here! Plenty others to take your place!!

Irish American's like myself and the VPOTUS are just going to draw a line in the sand, and if you don't like it, you can go get your militias and meet us in the field.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 6:10pm
thanks Maria!  

by Chris.Tacoma on 10/16/2012 @ 8:55pm
"A well-funded, healthy public transit system is a hallmark of quality cities." -Maria

Thanks Maria!  Well put!

by fredo on 10/16/2012 @ 9:26pm

Maria, we already have a well-funded transit system. If we could somehow remove the PT administration and put in some people who know how to run an organization properly we would have a system which would be the hallmark of a quality city. Providing more money for this transit board to misappropriate is kind of like providing one more bottle of booze to a struggling alcoholic. Time for some tough love.

by NineInchNachos on 10/16/2012 @ 9:49pm
okay grandpa romney.  zzzzz.

by dolly varden on 10/16/2012 @ 10:24pm
Everybody weighing in against Prop. 1:  Do you ever ride the bus?  Be honest.

by low bar on 10/16/2012 @ 10:42pm
I ride the bus, but I am like Mofo, I don't like most of the other passengers.

But I think America has slipped from when it was the greatest generation, and I want to get America back to that, very much like the GOP.

But I don't think you can have people be poor and under educated and have that.

I think middle class and lower class jobs need a pay increase. I think people should have affordable health care. I feel people need to feel self worth. And I don't think we can have that w/o a level playing field.

I honestly think GOV does create jobs. The GOV invented the internet. The GOV can be innovators with the right people and support.

The GOV created this country. General Electric didn't fight the revolutionary war. When terrorists fly planes into your place of business, you don't call Chick-a-filet for help.

If you don't call Walmart for help, then why should business have so much power?

Apple computers didn't write up the declaration of independence or the constitution.

Business is beginning to get a little too big for its britches.

Right now, Romney earns more money then old King Louie of France. And like that old king, he doesn't pay taxes. He wants the proletariat to pay them. He want's the proletariat to pay for the deficit. The proletariat didn't create the deficit from two wars. The GOP started both wars on a credit card.

That's a fact. The wars are on a credit card bc the rich in this country don't want to pay for them.

So why are we protecting business? Busniness is clearly the new king of France. 

I think whats pissing business off is that they don't want to pay for the people who they feel are a total loss.

But the only way those people don't burden the system is if we invest in them.

The only thing I feel I agree with Romney with is the idea of waiting to have kids till you are married and you know you are going to stay with your spouse, or if you are a single parent, don't have kids till you can afford to raise them and not burden the system.

I know what the GOP sees as burdening the system. But they need to come up with a better solution then they have been, which is to make them someone else's problem. They want to make those that burden the system the middle class's problem, and that's wrong. The middle class is how you keep the country from going off the rails, and the middle class doesn't have the extra resources needed to invest in the class below them. The math doesn't add up.

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 7:11am
Dolly, voters can be in FAVOR of a limited transit system and AGAINST further tax increases. I ride the bus on occasion and I'm OK with continued support at the .6% level.

If poor administration at PT headquarters means that service levels need to be curtailed all I can say folks wanted an expensive union oriented labor agreement and high priced administrators and now you've got it.

Reep what you sow.

by Jesse on 10/17/2012 @ 8:18am
"You think business is going to move away from the area because of this? Going to move away from all the business a giant military installation brings?" -- low bar

The problem is that they only have to move ten miles.  If Tacoma were an island, my opinions would be different on this subject.

"I think whats pissing business off is that they don't want to pay for the people who they feel are a total loss. But the only way those people (the poor) don't burden the system is if we invest in them." -- low bar

Sometimes true but usually not.  People who do things are people who do things.  People who don't, don't.  You cannot force success on someone with training or education because that's just opportunity.  Drive + opportunities + smarts = success.  You have to have all three.  Someone who waits around for someone to rescue them isn't the type of person to become a big-time success, IMO. They have to have drive with the opportunities and smarts.

The next time you come across someone who is having a hard life, ask them this; what have you done (ACTION items) to change your situation? Everyone I've ever asked that to, who was down and out, typically either doesn't understand the question, names gov't programs they've applied to, or just gives a general "but I'm trying"... which is basically saying nothing at all.

Having business or gov't backed opportunities is great but it will never solve poverty because it's only one piece of the puzzle.

by cisserosmiley on 10/17/2012 @ 8:24am
I don't know how to calculate how many businesses would move, but it's easy to scale the money that will move. The giant winners will be Puyallup car dealers...they cost less there.

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 8:39am
i'm not sure you can call a puyallup car dealer a winner...  imagine being a puyallup car dealer.  what hellish life choices... 

by Mofo from the Hood on 10/17/2012 @ 8:58am
"I ride the bus, but I am like Mofo, I don't like most of the other passengers."--low bar 10/16@10:42pm

The thing about the passengers is this: I've ridden PT and I've seen buses full of school kids use the system to get to and from school. As for employees travelling to and from work, sometimes I've estimated up to six likely passengers. But hey, if you're like me when riding and you think to yourself "Thank God I'm only twice as crazy as that jackhole," it's still possible to enjoy the ride because it's usually the latest and greatest machine that my tax money could have been used for, instead of me choosing to how to use my money to increase my personal wellbeing. (Maybe I'll consider conducting a survey of the noted passengers to see if they chose to ride the bus, or if they were simply victims of circumstances.)

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:09am
the weird overheard conversations from the back of the bus... the abnormal smells... the strangers helping to pick up spilled handbags...  folks standing up for elderly or frazzled moms with baby strollers, these are bus riding features, not bugs. 

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:10am
you wanna be disconnected from your fellow man... be reduced into a lonely box with wheels... be a single occupancy driver. I can think of nothing more anti-christian. JESUS WAS A BUS RIDER!

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:12am
I ride with the whores and fishermen!

by Mofo from the Hood on 10/17/2012 @ 9:13am
Buses are a microcosm of my mind.

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:14am
excuse me...  fisher-persons

by cisserosmiley on 10/17/2012 @ 9:23am
Let's say it's the college fund of the children of Puyallup car dealers that win...but I will still vote yes because it's the parsimonious path to Tacoma fulfilling it's DESTINY. Imagine a city falling apart, police & fire cut, home values raped, a DESTINation for corrections graduates, but busses rolling, moving people, making the sounds of life. Before anyone thinks I'm joking, I truly miss my OG Tacoma. When I was a kid here there weren't even any yellow busses, every TPS kid got a pierce transit pass(absolutely true). WE had nothing but fear about walking into the wrong neighborhood and a bus pass to get us to a different one. What happened Tacoma ? 

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:48am
a story from my friend Scott:

I worked in UP at a repair shop, an elderly customer rolls in for an
appointment she didn't have, acting very disoriented talking about
having just been robbed the day before. Cops come flying into the
parking lot behind her and one in a fit of rage
twists this 80 something year old lady's arm behind her back, shoves
her into the counter and cuffs her. Her car was all banged up, she
apparently had lost her drivers license years ago, the robbery happened
over 5 years ago, she had gotten a hold of her keys that her daughter was
hiding from her and gone for a drive creating mayhem going down Grand
View Drive at speeds of over 70mph almost killing several people and
bouncing off multiple other vehicles. She was suffering from dementia
and we figure as she came past our shop that had been servicing her car
since the 60's it triggered a memory and she pulled in latching onto
something familiar and repetitive from her past. The actions of the
police officer were completely overboard as she was out of the car, not
fleeing, another officer had been there for several minutes trying to
figure out what the hell just happened before he barreled in cursing
and slamming her around. But it was a serious case of how dangerous
anyone that shouldn't be driving can be when they get behind the wheel.
Drugs, drink, lack of sleep, medical issues, inexperience behind the
wheel, distractions like a electronic devices, or the jackasses sitting
next to you can turn that motor vehicle into a death machine for those
around you. It's gotten tough to kill yourself inside of one, but
nothing has reduced the risk to those around one."

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 9:49am
  cissero's comment condensed:

"I miss the old days when I could get free stuff"

Sorry to inform you cissero. Even if Prop 1 passes you aren't going to turn back the clock and you aren't going to get any free stuff.

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:51am
fredo, re-imagining folks comments so he can comprehend them since.... ?

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 9:52am
thanks for that story nachos.

I guess if Prop 1 passes we won't have to worry about dementia folks climbing behind the wheel of a car and driving off in a high speed chase.

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 9:59am
worrying less.  hey did you see my cartoon at the top of the page?   welcome to the party.

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 10:45am
Yes I saw your cartoon.

It seemed to indicate that if we don't pass Prop 1 then we will have to endure dementia patients driving their cars around town.

I don't understand it, but maybe if you mention it a few more times will start to have the ring of truthiness.

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 10:48am

Hey, RR did you know that the DOL screens these dangerous old drivers out by refusing to renew their driver's licenses? That's true. We pay for that service through our taxes and... it works!

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 10:59am
yeah and mental patients cant buy guns.

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 11:28am
So if we pass Prop 1 then  that will solve the problem of dementia folks who don't have driver's licenses driving cars anyway?

Is that what you are saying? That low sales taxes make dementia prone folks begin acting out?

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 11:42am
wait so what you really mean by whatever you wrote without reading it is "blah blah blah"

Lies i say... lies and stuff!

you can put a dementia patient at a bus stop... pin a note to them or something for the bus driver.

you can't bloody well do that if there is no bus coming. I mean you could, but it would be a cruel joke.

by fredo on 10/17/2012 @ 12:02pm
  "you can't bloody well do that if there is no bus coming" nachos

the buses will keep running even if Prop 1 fails nachos.

maybe you didn't get the word.

Incidentally, If I can prove to you that, on occasion, public transit bus drivers have negligently run over and killed pedestrians will you draw a cartoon showing that? 

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 12:21pm
if prop 1 fails  chris said that they might even consider shutting down PT for good.  was I dreaming that? 

by cisserosmiley on 10/17/2012 @ 1:12pm
I don't recall longing for anything free FREDO. The yellow bus racket costs far more than pt ever did. I was simply remembering a time when Tacoma expanded yellow buses because many parents felt it was too urban to send their kids off to school on pt. Now, to be more urban, we are cutting of suburbs and investing in local pt. 

by low bar on 10/17/2012 @ 1:43pm
PT is a helps to get the poor a HAND UP.

So everyone scared that some people are getting a hand out, have to look a little closer.

Investing in the poor brings crime down. Its less taxes you have to pay for the judicial system.

The more poor you have that can move up into the middle class, the more they can buy a car and gas, and be less of a burden.

But they CAN'T get there WITHOUT the HAND UP.

by low bar on 10/17/2012 @ 2:54pm
"The problem is that they only have to move ten miles" -- Jesse

Thanks for pointing that out.

That means that someone only has to MOVE IN ten miles to replace them.

How easy is it for new business to move into this area and set up shop?

We hear stories of new business opening all the time.

Why just as soon as the Tempest closed, the Broken Spoke opened up.

Want to just open a franchise? Makes it even easier.

Take your business and leave the JBLM area. Leave. Plenty to replace you.

by JesseHillFan on 10/17/2012 @ 7:40pm
Here is another mayhem car help eliminate these destructive motor vehicles I just reported to the abandoned vehicle hotline a van that had been parked in front of my house for the past month.What helps is that its Vehicle Tags expired about a week ago and I am trying to time it so the vehicle will be towed off during the weekend so hopefully the owner won't be able to afford to get his blight mobile out of the towing yard.Personal Motor Vehicles are evil and destructive so I am doing my duty to eliminate as much of them as possible legally.

Perhaps I can do a civic duty and report more expired tag vehicles within my neighborhood and eradicate more AGW ICE motor vehicles.

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 8:36pm
nice work JHF! 

by NineInchNachos on 10/17/2012 @ 8:40pm
for posterity:

by The Jinxmedic on 10/18/2012 @ 1:13pm
Frankly, I would love to make the $30 an hour that Low Bar mentioned- that would be a pleasant raise. Screw this degree-required intellectual creative genius stuff- I want to drive a bus.
(and yes, that was sarcasm. It would be nice if my esteemed position paid the salary and benefits that a quasi-public entity such as Pierce Transit does- but it doesn't - and that's the way the world works.) (I would settle for shorter hours, though.)

by NineInchNachos on 10/18/2012 @ 3:01pm
Comrade Justin lays it out...

by low bar on 10/18/2012 @ 4:01pm
I never said it was $30 an hour. I was just repeating a Fredo Fact. So take it with a grain of salt Jinx. 

by fredo on 10/18/2012 @ 4:03pm

If Pierce Transit had a decent logo, of the type I create for my clients, there is no doubt they would boost ridership almost immediately. Their current logo practically shouts out "TRANSIT FAIL"

by low bar on 10/18/2012 @ 4:06pm
3 pennies. I see 3 pennies all the time at gas stations where sales tax is collected.

Just sitting there next to the cash register doing nothing. 3 pennies.

Think about it. The conservatives want to bring our country down over 3 pennies.


by fredo on 10/18/2012 @ 4:16pm
  Since it's only 3 pennies then why doesn't Pierce Transit reduce the sales tax by 3 pennies on every 10 dollar sale or reduce bus driver or staff pay by 3 cents per hour?  

After all... it's only three pennies.  

The liberals want to bring our country down over.... 3 pennies.

by The Jinxmedic on 10/18/2012 @ 4:35pm
Nobody cares about treason these days. By the way- do you have your post-apocalyptic career lined up? "Rat Breeder" might be a good one.

by low bar on 10/18/2012 @ 6:09pm
Nobody cares about the Office of the President nowadays. Did you see how close Romney got to disrespecting it in front of the entire country during the last debate?

That shows weakness to our enemies abroad. But Romney doesn't care bc he's actually a Mexican.

In the Army you are taught the chain of command. Where the Office of the President sits at the top. From your fireteam leader all the way to the President. Such is the chain.

You are taught that you may not respect the person but you must respect the rank. But Romney doesn't respect the rank bc he's Mexican and he's never served. And he's a chicken hawk on top.

So clearly Romney doesn't respect the office. And it is because he's actually a Mexican citizen. He was born in Mexico and is Mormon and has five wives stashed all around the world like his tax evading money.

Romney was a chicken hawk in the Vietnam war. He actively went out and supported the war when his entitled ass was at Stanford. Then he ran from the war and went hiding in France where he met his first of many wives.

The guy is a Mormon polygamist, a chick hawk, a liar and a Mexican citizen.

And we are letting this Mexican guy disrespect the highest office in the land.

I don't have to have a rat breeding bunker lined up bc I know there are generals out there that actually stand on the right side of history. Business doesn't own the military. And if the conservatives want to get a militia together and meet the Union Army, they can bring it on.

This country's chain of command is as rock solid as it's ever been.

by NineInchNachos on 10/18/2012 @ 8:27pm
mittens is a stuttering mess.  Lie harder mittens!

(greatest tacomic thread of 2012)

by NineInchNachos on 11/12/2012 @ 9:00am
go Chris K.

by The Jinxmedic on 11/12/2012 @ 9:56am
It's easy to make a live-catch rat trap from a partially buried 55 gallon steel drum. You need to empty it twice a day, or it gets nasty.

by JesseHillFan on 11/12/2012 @ 10:21am
That should likely work against Ratcoons too.Perhaps Pierce Transit should disband and instead we could have Tacoma Transit instead.Especially looking at

Maybe just serve the areas that voted in favor and reject areas that voted against this.

by cisserosmiley on 11/12/2012 @ 10:52am
True DEMOCRACY would dictate the opposite course, stop transit across the whole area & let the minority of pro-transit voters live without bus service until a majority can be reached.

by tacoma_1 on 11/12/2012 @ 1:33pm
The majority of Tacoma voters support transit, and have done so for a long time. 
The voters of Puyallup and outlying areas can choose a car dependent existence if they wish, but they can't impose their shortsightedness on Tacomans. 
True Democracy would dictate a TBD for the City of Destiny, and then let the rest of the county choke on their own exhaust. IMHO 

by JesseHillFan on 11/12/2012 @ 2:15pm
Plus when gasoline prices hit $12 or even eventually $16 a gallon Puyallup residents will be S.O.L. doomed with their Ford F-350 trucks and other gas guzzler vehicles.Pretty hard to escape a Lahar with no gas or motor vehicle dependent transportation gridlocking all the roads in a disaster about to befall them.

by cisserosmiley on 11/12/2012 @ 2:30pm
Asking voters to re-define a special purpose area, like the city council has done in making a tbd out of the entire city boundary, is DEMOCRACY... being angry when one finds them self in the minority of a democratic process is petty.  

by fredo on 11/12/2012 @ 2:47pm

If I have to outrun lahar I'd rather take my chances in a Ford F-350 then peddling an old Huffy bicycle.

by tacoma_1 on 11/12/2012 @ 2:48pm
Assiming that the City Council does establish a TBD to restore transit in Tacoma, I'm actually quite confident that this will be a defining moment for our city. Tacoma will be able to provide a distinct lifestyle choice, apart from our suburban neighbors.

Those that want to be car dependent, with no other viable transportation choice, Puyallup's South Hill, with its maze of culdesacs await.

Those that want to have a choice to walk, ride a bike, take a bus, or drive a car, the City of Destiny's walkable neighborhoods await. 

by fredo on 11/12/2012 @ 3:30pm

People on South Hill can't walk or ride bicycles? I'm not following you. 

by tacoma_1 on 11/12/2012 @ 4:03pm
Grid system neighborhoods (Tacoma) are more conducive to walking and biking. 
Culdesac neighborhoods with numerous deadends and congested arterials (puyallup south hill) are not conducive to walking. 

by Chris.Tacoma on 11/12/2012 @ 4:07pm
Fredo, I think what tacoma_1 is trying to say is that the infrastructure rarely exists for people to walk or ride bicycles in the South Hill area.  I think what might inform this kind of discussion would be a map of fatalities involving pedestrians and cyclists across the county.
Washington State Collision Data 2011

For instance, in Puyallup, there were 17 pedestrians involved in collisions in 2011 and 4 of those people involved in those collisions suffered serious injuries - 23.5%.  In Tacoma 16 out of 108 involved serious injuries - or 14%.
Although the sample size is small, you can see that you're roughly 1.5 times as likely to suffer serious injury in Puyallup vs. Tacoma if you're in a pedestrian-vehicle traffic collision.

by tacoma_1 on 11/12/2012 @ 4:27pm
Thanks Chris. That's xactly what I wanted to say.  

by fredo on 11/12/2012 @ 5:56pm
Yes, if you carefully cherry pick your information you can arrive at whatever conclusion you want to arrive at.  

I've lived in neighborhoods on grids and neighborhoods with cul de sacs. I haven't noticed any important difference in terms of community building or neighborliness. However, the cul de sac neighborhoods have less folks speeding through to get somewhere else. I think they are a little safer for pedestrians and kids on bicycles.

by tacoma_1 on 11/12/2012 @ 7:12pm
It's the speeds of the cars on the arterials that are the problem fredo. In a Culdesac- arterial street configuration, the only way to get to the corner store by bike or foot is alongside the arterial with vehicle speeds over 30mph. As a person that has been struck by a car as a pedestrian, I can personally attest to the fact that if a car is going 25 mph or less, that the chances for survival are much greater (but still is a painful experience that I don't typically recommend) than if the vehicle is traveling 30 mph or more. 

And in case the fact that I still live and breathe isn't enough proof for you, an actual study by the nhtsa on the very subject.

by low bar on 11/13/2012 @ 9:35pm
So has Pierce county figured out the final count? I can understand this issue getting buried in the election. 

Go ahead and cut the service. No faster way to get the Prop passed in some other form lol

by NineInchNachos on 11/14/2012 @ 7:43am
its not looking good.  one of those races where every vote counts. 

by NineInchNachos on 1/28/2013 @ 1:18pm
as predicted...

by tacoma_1 on 1/28/2013 @ 4:43pm
The Seattle Times (not my favorite fish wrapper, btw) has an article that breaks down how Tacoma is falling behind due to our suburban sprawl and foolish car dependent ways.

"Much of the county is very livable...but it lacks many walkable neighborhoods or the dense, lively urban core that attracts young, highly skilled talent. The transit system has been gutted by cuts, making the county even more dependent on cars."

by Jesse on 1/28/2013 @ 5:15pm
If would have decided to set up shop in Tacoma instead of Seattle, Amazon would have practically owned it's own city as the council would probably have done anything for them.  It would have been holistically transformative for Tacoma.

Thanks for sharing the article tacoma_1.