Letter: Tax for roads should target locals, not tourists

Apr 12, 2017

For the city of Mukilteo to consider another sales tax increase to have tourists and business visitors taxed for local roads is illogical ("Council creates tax district for roads," Nicholas Johnson, April 5).

Most tourists and business visitors to Mukilteo use state highways – like the state ferry system and state highways 525 and 526, via transit, personal vehicle, taxi or rideshare for commerce – not municipal roads.

Also, is it really smart to raise sales tax when the city of Everett tax rate at 9.7 percent is already less than Mukilteo at 10.3 percent? Choice shoppers will shop elsewhere if that gap increases from 0.6 percent, harming revenues for other needs such as law enforcement and transit.

Let me add, being as I got involved in Mukilteo affairs to advocate for better transit, why the disparity? Did you know the city of Everett underfunds its transit by only charging 0.6 percent sales tax and a $1 fare for transit, while Community Transit is charging 1.2 percent sales tax rate and general fares starting at $2.25 for quality transit.

Perhaps, while Everett Transit leaders report to their city council of having anemic funding and consequences like being unable to obtain electric buses and fulfill service requests, Mayor Gregerson and other rock stars of regional transit should publicly request the city of Everett please fund its transit needs to an appropriate level and be a better neighbor to the city of Mukilteo, starting by prioritizing working with Community Transit to provide hourly transit service to the number one sales tax revenue generator of the city of Mukilteo: the Future of Flight Aviation Center.

Like I said, increasing sales tax on all commerce to fix local roads so Mukilteo is even more noncompetitive against a neighbor not funding its transit needs should be a nonstarter. Car tabs, at least, would tax locals who use local roads.


Joe A. Kunzler
Skagit County
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