Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tacoma Council Endorses its Tax Increase

Tom Pierson, Pres./CEO of the Chamber, testified last night against the Tacoma City Council’s Resolution 38748.

The Resolution proposed for the Tacoma Council to endorse the ballot issue they unanimously passed onto the Nov. 5 election ballot.

Speaking in opposition to Resolution 38748 and in opposition of Prop 1 which is a 33% tax increase and results in $10 Million+ tax that will hurt new jobs and local businesses, Pierson said the resolution was put on the public’s view with less than a days’ notice (actually it was closer to nine hours of notice), just as was the original ordinance which placed Prop 1 on the ballot. 

Pierson said the City Council needs to be collaborative, transparent and a council that will work with the community, with business, with labor for reasonable solutions to our transportation needs. He noted:

           This tax is unfair for our fixed income individuals in our community and it is unfair for locally owned businesses adding another layer of costs in an economic time that is very
           Tacoma residents are only now beginning to be charged the license-tab fee adopted last year by the City.  These dollars could be used to fund road repair.
           Allow the new Fiscal Sustainability Task Force to complete its work examining the City's revenue structure and structural budget deficit.
           Allow the new Transportation Commission to advise the City on short-term and long-range transportation planning.
           City Council has not prioritized spending on roads and current funding is four times less than most other cities—the council needs to prioritize city funds to match the needs of the community.  According to the city data we spend $7 per capita versus the average of $26…nearly 4 times less, no wonder we have a problem, the solution might lie in the prioritization of funds

In summation, Pierson said that we need to move Tacoma Forward together, and again asked the Council to work in a collaborative, transparent way with all its the partners in the community – which includes business and labor, for reasonable solutions to our transportation needs.

The Council voted 8 for, zero against and one abstention (kudos to Council member Joe Lonergan), to endorse the Prop. 1 tax issue it placed on the Nov. 5 ballot.

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