Voters to decide Proposition 1 for STA funding

Voters to decide Proposition 1 for STA funding

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Transit Authority is looking to the future, hoping voters will approve a sales tax increase to fund its 10-year growth plan, known as STA Moving Forward.

Proposition 1 would help fund 25 new projects over the next decade. This is the second time STA has put the proposition on the ballot. Las year, it failed in the election by less than 1%.

But, with Spokane continuing to grow, STA says it not only wants to keep up, but get ahead.

"The STA Moving Forward plan is really about growth in the community and how to improve transit for a growing population," said STA Senior Communications Specialist Brandon Rapez-Betty.

If Proposition 1 passes, the first projects are set to begin next May. That includes expanded hours on Saturdays, as well as more direct routes in certain areas. The funding for these projects would come from an increased sales tax. Prop. 1 would increase the local sales tax by 0.2%, which would be an increase of 2 cents for every $10 spent.

"This is only applicable inside the transit service area, it's not county-wide. So, only if you live in the transit service area will it impact you," Rapez-Betty said.

The tax would also be phased in over three years. In may of April 2017, the sales tax would increase by 0.1% and then by another 0.1% in 2019.

STA proposed a similar, but slightly larger, tax increase last year, but voters barely rejected it. They hope this year's plan will be more appealing.

"It's a smaller increase, one-tenth less," said Rapez-Betty. "