Ballot Measure Summary—Impacts to Transportation Funding
Initiative 976 changes vehicle taxes and fees by lowering motor vehicle and light duty truck weight fees to $30; eliminating the 0.3 percent sales tax on vehicle purchases; lowering electric vehicle and snowmobile fees; modifying and reducing Sound Transit motor vehicle excise tax provisions; and removing authority for transportation benefit districts to impose a vehicle fee.
The account that provides funding for transit agencies, including Pierce Transit—the State Multimodal Account—is projected to be reduced by $1.5 billion over the next six years if the measure is approved. Almost half of the funds in the State Multimodal Account are designated for transit programs.
Here are the state grants Pierce Transit is depending on, and already has budgeted, both for ongoing operations and capital needs that would likely be impacted:
- Paratransit Service. Pierce Transit receives about $2 million per year to help pay for SHUTTLE services. Our six-year plan includes the assumption we will receive $13 million of these grant funds. If state funding is cut, we are still required by law to provide this service, resulting in agency spending reductions elsewhere.
- Commute Trip Reduction. Pierce Transit receives approximately $66,000 per year to promote commute trip reduction, including working with employers and supporting CTR activities.
- Coordination Grants. Pierce Transit is slated to receive $100,000 per year for two years to provide half-price fare tickets/passes to qualifying 501(c)3 organizations, which in turn provide them to their clients as needed free of charge.
- Capital Projects. We are slated to receive $4 million for a new Park & Ride/turnaround facility in Spanaway, and $4.2 million for BRT stations.
- BRT Funding. We have also been granted, but have not yet received, $15 million for the BRT project itself.
- Vanpool Investment Program. Under this program, Pierce Transit is slated to receive $450,000 per year for two years to replace existing vanpool vans.
In addition to state funding, the ST3 package included $60 million for Pierce Transit’s $150 million BRT project. If funding for Sound Transit is impacted, there’s a chance this funding would be impacted as well.