Voters turn down WTA tax hike

Published on Thu, May 6, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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Whatcom County voters said they didn’t support a two-tenths of 1 percent tax increase that would have increased public transit service county-wide.

Unofficial counts released by the Whatcom County Auditor Wednesday say that 50.90 percent of voters said no to the tax, while 49.10 percent supported it.

Now, Whatcom Transit Authority, is returning to the drawing board and seeking public comment on how best to implement planned service cuts.

The WTA will hold a public hearing to receive comment on a proposed 14 percent service reduction. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at the Whatcom County Courthouse Chambers at 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham.

The proposed service reduction includes the elimination of all Sunday service as well as reductions to weekday and Saturday fixed route service. More service reductions are scheduled to be implemented in September 2010.

Those who are unable to attend the meeting may submit comments by email at comment@ridewta.com or by leaving a message at 715-4500 no later than 3 p.m. on May 11.