Tuesday, November 16, 2010

City Delays Vote On $20 Car Tab Fee

A final decision on whether to impose a local tab tax of $20 within the City of Spokane was delayed last night by the City Council. Why? Because the City wants to wait and see if the City’s largest union will agree to concessions that could help balance the budget, meaning the tab increase may not be needed.

Here's the Spokesman-Review story. There is the option that the City could go ahead and collect the $20 tab fee even if the union makes concession. What's your thoughts? Should they do so and put the money into the rainy day fund? Or where would you like to see the money go?


Anonymous said...

There are three groups of people who regularly spend other people's money: children, thieves, and politicians. All three of these groups need supervision.
-- Dick Armey

SRTC Staff said...

I think this is one decision that WILL be closely watched. Kind of like the red light cameras. When people spoke out about those, the City made arrangements to only spend the money raised by them on safety projects for neighborhoods. So keep an eye on this and speak out if you think the money could be spent more wisely/efficiently, etc.

Not said...

An extra $20 on car registrations is a step in the right direction, towards having the users that do the most damage pay for the roads. However, I think that a lot of people commute into Spokane that obviously do not have Spokane addresses, and it's unfortunate that they won't be helping to maintain the city roads.
My preference for a funding source would be taxes on gasoline and studded tires. That seems like the most fair solution to me.

SRTC Staff said...

You're right Not, there are a lot of folks who commute into the City of Spokane from the County, Liberty Lake, Kootenai County, etc. Unfortunately there's really no way to capture and tax 'pass through' traffic. There's been talk in the past of charging tolls at Stateline but that doesn't seem to be a feasible option. The good news about gas taxes is that people would be (kind of) able to dictate how much they pay. The economy is hurting everyone, so if someone is having a really bad month, they could opt to take the bus or find another way to get where they're going to reduce the gas bill. Same with studs. Don't buy them if you don't want to pay extra. The majority of people don't need them anyway.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.