127 Miles of Bad Road

Judging from the comments on a story posted last night, Car-Tab Increase to Fix Bremerton Streets? Small Group of Skeptics Greet City Plan, the idea of fixing a $20 tax onto car tabs to pay for pavement preservation in Bremerton is mighty unpopular.

Here are answers to questions posed in the reader comments that I can answer.

Posted by dfranks1 on January 31, 2008 at 1:13 p.m.
Is the tab increase going to be a one time shot, or will they keep collecting it year after year? How many years do you have to collect the extra $20 to get all of the roads fixed? How many of you are still paying $30 anyway? Before you know it you will be paying $400 a year (again) on your 1968 pickup…

1 – Yes, the plan says the tax would stay in place indefinitely. That means every year, in addition to the $30 to the state, the 75 cents to the county, the additional fees for trucks, SUVs and vans, and the $3 to the county and $2 to contractor, drivers who live in Bremerton would plunk down an additional $20.

Proponents say their goal is to create a constant stream of dollars to maintain roads that are constantly deteriorating. Money collected from the pre-I-695 MVET used to pay for this maintenance. Leaders said they have to earn the trust of taxpayers to do this, and to possibly come back and ask for more (up to $100). You will be the final judge of that.

Posted by TJH on January 31, 2008 at 9:46 a.m.
I’m confused, just a tax hike on vehicles housed in Bremerton or vehicles housed in Kitsap County? How does this work?

2 – If you live in Bremerton, and if it is approved, you will pay the tax when you buy your tabs. If you live outside of Bremerton, no tax. The law that allows cities to take this action requires that counties get first dibs. Kitsap County did not act. The statutory head start granted to counties expired earlier this month and the city jumped on it.

Posted by dardena on January 31, 2008 at 6:40 a.m.
I don’t understand. McConnel said: “the improvements will have to be paid for with cuts, most likely to employees.”
So we are really just hiking car tab fees to keep a few city employees on the payroll?
Gezz, guys, muni employee does not mean “cushy job for life.”

3 – McConnell said voters must approve the tax or he won’t support it. He also said that the maintenance has to be done. If a vote on the tax fails he is saying some other function in the city government will have to be cut to pay for the maintenance. When asked what could be cut, he said it would probably mean laying off employees to free up cash. The effect, he is saying, is that with less people to do the work, the ability of employees to serve the public will suffer.

Stay tuned for more Car Tab Fun from your pals here at the Bremerton Beat!

4 thoughts on “127 Miles of Bad Road

  1. This sounds like a good way to drive more people out of Bremerton. The city seems to be dying a slow death as more druggies, gang members and other undesirables move in. It’s too bad because on the rare times I drive through, I can see a house here and there trying to fix up their place and then I see the gang tagging.

    Roads, tunnels, foot ferries, and marinas seem a little low on the priority list compared to other problems the city has to deal with first.

  2. Jim C, I see the opposite every time I drive downtown Bremerton, such as today when I took the long way around to get home.

    I drove down streets I haven’t been on for years and happily took note of the many old homes that have been fixed up — wonderful old homes and neighborhoods that will one day be completely family friendly.

    As Bremerton advances with the roads, tunnels, foot ferries and such, the criminal types will fade away… to find another town on its way down… where Bremerton once was.

    I passed the new police station and couldn’t be more pleased they made it out of the old dungeon. And applauded the beautiful and simple landscaping showing off the station. Very nice.
    Bremerton is coming alive again and it shows.

    What is ‘gang tagging’?

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