The chamber supports the CRC project, but it does not support Proposition 1. If approved, sales tax in the C-Tran district would increase from 8.4 percent to 8.5 percent.
Parker said Proposition 1 would raise “more than twice as much as we already need” for light rail. The remainder of the sales tax raised through the ballot measure would help pay to construct a bus rapid transit system on Vancouver’s Fourth Plain corridor.
If Herrera Beutler is interpreting the Proposition 1 vote as a vote to reject or approve light rail operations funding in general, then voters might be persuaded to vote for a sales tax increase they don’t really want in order to prove a point about light rail, Parker said.
“Why would the congresswoman want us to raise our taxes if we don’t need to?” Parker wrote to Herrera Beutler’s office. “I understand she wants an election on the community’s acceptance of this project. But when you tie an unnecessary tax increase into that question, it’s no longer a valid question. It’s politics.”
In response to Parker’s email, Herrera Beutler spokesman Ryan Hart said that the congresswoman is simply doing her best to gauge public opinion based on a too-little-too-late ballot measure on light rail.
“Frankly, Jaime would have preferred the voters were asked a different question, and asked a lot sooner than this November,” Hart said. “If you want Jaime to go along with this project, then go to the voters with something they’ll support. That’s all she’s asking.”