Ballot measure asks voters to preserve C-Tran’s current services
More than any other single issue, Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot will be about maintaining Clark County’s high quality of life. It’s not about expanding the local transit system (just preserving it), and it’s certainly not about light rail. Yes, Proposition 1 is about a tax increase: a two-tenths of a percentage point increase in the sales tax, or two pennies on a $10 purchase. But without that increase, the projected cuts in C-Tran and C-Van (for people with disabilities) services are unacceptable. Although The Columbian typically opposes tax increases during this lingering economic crisis, we recommend a “Yes” vote on Proposition 1 to prevent those dramatic cuts and protect our community’s efficiently managed and highly valued transit system. If Prop 1 fails, C-Tran’s board of directors anticipates these actions:
Time to get state out of the booze business and join other states in the 21st century
Last year Washington voters rejected two ballot measures that would’ve privatized liquor sales and distribution in the state. The Columbian endorsed both of those measures. A similar measure — Initiative 1183 — appears on the Nov. 8 ballot, and we again enthusiastically recommend aligning Washington with more than 30 other states that have properly recognized the government’s role. It’s not to sell liquor and wine but to regulate that commerce. No more than we would expect the state to distribute and sell cigarettes (at exorbitantly marked-up prices, mind you), Washingtonians should not expect the state government to sell spirits. Voters who opposed liquor privatization last year should recognize at least two refinements that I-1183 brings to this issue. First, it would generate a projected $400 million in new revenue for state and local governments (police, fire protection, schools and health care). Opponents quickly point to a 27 percent tax that would be levied on sellers, to which The Seattle Times correctly responded that the tax “replaces the state’s markup of 52 percent” that exists under the current system.