Pierce Transit is asking for another .3% increase in the sales tax. The increase would make Pierce County home to the highest sales tax on the West coast.
How high will the sales tax be if Prop 1 is approved?
Tacoma will have the highest sales tax on the West Coast at 9.8% on everyday purchases and 10.1% on auto-sales. Puyallup, Fife & Lakewood will be at 9.7% on everyday purchases and 10% on auto sales. Prop 1 will drive sales outside of the higher taxed cities, and out of Pierce County.

2011 Prop 1 Results

2011 Prop 1 Results
Pierce Transit’s OLD Boundaries

Didn’t voters already reject Prop 1 in 2011?
In 2011 voters rejected Pierce Transit’s Prop 1. But after Pierce Transit lost, they redrew their boundaries and cut out 106 precincts that rejected Prop 1. They didn’t cut any precincts that voted in favor of Prop 1.

Pierce Transit’s NEW boundaries

Where would the sales tax increase?
The sales tax increase would effect the businesses located inside the Pierce Transit boundaries.
Who can vote on Prop 1?
Only voters that live within the Pierce Transit district boundaries get to vote on Prop 1.

But even if you are not in the district, you will have to pay the sales tax because most of the major shopping centers and auto dealers are inside the district. If Prop 1 is approved, hundreds of thousands of Pierce County citizens will have to pay a tax that they didn’t get to vote on because Pierce Transit rigged the system.


Pierce Transit doesn’t need more money! They need better leadership!


10.1% is just too much! Pierce Transit needs new leadership not more excuses.

It’s not fair to make Pierce County citizens bear the financial burden of the mismanagement at Pierce Transit, especially considering that PT isn’t seeking new leadership on any level.

Pierce Transit wants voters to think that more money will solve the problem, it won’t. When the economy rebuilds, Pierce Transit will sign more unsustainable labor agreements, commit to even more wasteful projects and be right back where it started, out of money!

If voters reject prop 1, outrageous labor contracts could be renegotiated as they expire, transit officials would be forced to make the needed administrative cuts and new leadership could be sought out.

If voters approve prop 1, transit officials will have no incentive to renegotiate contracts, reduce administrative overhead or seek new leadership. As a result, transit could suffer permanently.

As it stands, Pierce Transit hasn’t made real administrative cuts because they anticipate more money from the proposed tax increase. A well run Pierce Transit doesn’t need a tax increase.

The solution is new leadership, not higher taxes, less accountability or more excuses.

Pierce Transit has plenty of money


Pierce Transit has the ability to provide public transportation at a rate taxpayers would be comfortable with. Unfortunately PT has decided that their bloated compensation packages and excessive overhead are not negotiable.

It’s critical that Prop 1 fails so we can rebuild Pierce Transit to be sustainable for generations to come.

Proposition 1 will not just punish people who ride transit but it will punish everyone in Pierce County.

Businesses will suffer, and then families will suffer as a result. When the economic activity in Pierce County decreases as a result of our inability to compete with neighboring communities, the important functions of government that rely on sales tax revenue for their funding will also suffer.


When Pierce Transit cuts services, it does so because they are unwilling to put the community first.

Pierce Transit doesn’t have a revenue problem. $340,000 per day is enough money to provide generous public transportation to Pierce County. We need new leadership to rescue transit in Pierce County.

To see a breakdown of Pierce Transit’s income and expenses click here: RejectProp1.com/pierce-transit-facts

Prop 1 will raise the auto sales tax to unbearable levels!


On the average new car we already pay .6% ($180) to Pierce Transit and 1% ($300) to Sound Transit, that’s $480. This outrageous and unneeded tax hike will drive that cost up to an unbelievable $570 per car!

Since the tax hike only applies to businesses inside the district, it will create an even greater taxing disparity between retailers that are inside the district and those that are outside the district. Unfortunately this tax hike would drive sales out of the heart of Pierce County and cripple our struggling economy. Auto sales alone, are 1/8 of our economy in Pierce County.

Pierce Transit wants you to think small. Don’t take the bait.
The cumulative effect is enormous and dangerous. Transit officials are being reckless with our economy. The only real beneficiaries of this tax hike are overpaid transit officials.

Don’t let transit officials gamble with our economy, things are just too tight right now. Reject Prop 1.

We are glad that the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber agrees that this sales tax increase would just be too much!

Prop 1 would give the city of Tacoma the “highest sales tax rate on the West Coast”

Here’s a few excerpts from the Chamber’s Resolution:

Pierce Transit serves as the provider of local bus service. The Chamber recognizes the value of a robust transit system in getting employees and customers to jobs and businesses. The Chamber has supported every previous transit tax proposal, including serving as the campaign headquarters for the initial Pierce Transit Benefit Area creation and funding authorization. Despite the strong relationship between transit and the Chamber, there are circumstances that prevent the Chamber’s support of the tax increase.

If Proposition 1 is approved, it will raise Tacoma to a total sales tax rate of 9.8% – the City with the highest sales tax rate on the West Coast. A number of other jurisdictions within the PTBA will move to 9.7% making them the next highest in the state. By comparison, the City-wide rate in Seattle is 9.5% with no plans to go higher. Those areas of Pierce County not in the PTBA will have tax rates between 7.9% and 8.8%, more than a full percentage lower.

Having the highest tax rates in the state will put Tacoma and the surrounding communities at a competitive disadvantage when attempting to attract and retain businesses. While Pierce Transit is simply the most recent organization to ask for an increase in the sales tax rate, it is the increment that would push the area’s total sales tax rate higher than elsewhere in the region.

Thank you Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce for speaking out on this important issue!

If you would like to read the Resolution in its entirety, you can do so here.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has issued a policy statement on their position on Prop 1.

Lakewood Chamber of Commerce
Policy Position
Oppose Proposition 1 – Pierce Transit Proposed Sales Tax Increase

The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners passed a resolution calling for the 0.3 percent sales tax increase vote. That would be three cents on a $10 purchase.

The board said the increase is necessary to restore access to essential services for seniors, the disabled and people who rely on Pierce Transit.

Pierce Transit says it has cut or saved nearly $111 million dollars in response to the recession, including cutting nearly half of its bus service and 19 percent of its work force.

In addition to the concerns of how the money is being collected and used, the proposed tax increase is permanent. The Chamber feels that a sunset would have been a more appropriate way to respond to a temporary dip in revenues.

Pierce Transit is in contract arbitration with Local 758 Amalgamated Transit Union. It is unclear how much of the additional revenues from a tax increase would go toward employee salaries opposed to service restoration.

Pierce Transit receives 70% of its funding from local sales tax. The other 30% should be rounded out by ridership ~ and not the majority of the population who do not use transit services.

In these tough economic times when businesses and families are struggling and making cuts in their budgets, we think that Pierce Transit should do the same.

We believe that Pierce Transit must be fiscally responsible by limiting services and further reducing its overhead as we must.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, in good conscience, cannot endorse this proposition on the behalf of our business community.