Proposition 1 Facts and Information

The City of Tacoma is asking voters to consider a measure increasing the earnings tax on utility companies for neighborhood street improvements and safety upgrades.

The Proposition 1 November 5, 2013 general ballot measure is an option that would generate $10 to $11 million annually for the sole purpose of dedicated funds for streets improvements.

Finding Solutions

For two years, citizen volunteers have examined the City’s road issues and possible solutions. They recommended finding dedicated and sustainable funding sources to address growing needs and focusing on school safety, residential road maintenance and arterial maintenance.  The Proposition 1 ballot measure is an option that would generate $10 to $11 million annually for the sole purpose of dedicated funds for streets improvements.

If approved by voters, we propose that over the next five years dedicated funding would allow us to provide:

Safety improvements near schools - School zone improvements to 46 locations sooner, such as ADA accessible sidewalks and school zone flashing beacons.

Pothole repairs - Funding for 18,000 additional permanent pothole repairs – doubling what we do now based on current costs.

Neighborhood street improvements and basic maintenance - Funding to repave/resurface 510 residential blocks, more than doubling what we do now based on current costs, 12 backlogged neighborhood Local Improvement District projects where residents have already agreed to partner with the City and pay a significant portion of the cost, and provide matching funds for utility projects so water and sewer improvements can coordinate for street improvements at the same time. 

More arterial improvements and basic maintenance - 70 intersections would get traffic signal detection repairs, the entire community’s center and turn lanes would be restriped every year and the City would have more matching funds to apply for competitive grants.
The citizens of Tacoma will decide the following general election question with a “yes” or “no” vote on November 5, 2013: 
CITY OF TACOMA
SPECIAL ELECTION – PROPOSITION NO. 1
2% UTILITY COMPANY EARNINGS TAX
FOR TACOMA STREET IMPROVEMENTS

The City of Tacoma adopted Substitute Resolution No. 38700 concerning an additional 2% earnings tax on utility companies for streets. If passed, Proposition No. 1 would authorize the City to levy an additional 2% earnings tax on natural gas, electric and phone companies for the sole purpose of funding basic maintenance and safety upgrades City-wide, for roads, arterials and bridges; permanent pothole repairs; pedestrian safety improvement to crosswalks near schools, sidewalks, and intersections; repaving neighborhood streets; and improved signal timing, all as provided in Substitute Resolution 38700. Should Proposition No. 1 be enacted into law? 


Taxing the Utility Companies' Earnings

The work would be paid for by an additional two percent tax on utilities - the earnings of natural gas, electric and phone utility companies. It’s possible that utility companies will pass this cost increase on to their customers through their rates. (City Council would have to approve any Tacoma Power rate change.) If the full cost is passed along, the combined cost to the average household would be about $4.70 per month.

You Can Learn More

Plan to attend the one of 10 facts and information sessions coming up at locations across the community at 6 PM on various Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings between August 26 and October 30. Or, schedule a City official to speak with your group byImage for Prop 1 Facts School Sign contacting the City Manager’s Office at (253) 591-5100 or Prop1Facts@CityofTacoma.org.

Proposition 1 Facts and Information Sessions (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions
If approved by voters, what kind of city transportation improvements and safety upgrades will be addressed by the additional dedicated funds?

What specific improvements will be funded over the next five years with dedicated funding for neighborhood streets and safety upgrades?

What will the financial impact of Proposition 1 be, if passed by voters?

Is there low-income assistance available?

Is this tax appropriate for funding City services?