GSBA Recommends Voters Approve Votes on Transit, Harborview

by Matt Landers, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
| Sep 04, 2020
The Board of Directors of GSBA has voted to endorse two additional ballot measures facing voters this November: Seattle Proposition 1 (Transportation Benefit District) and King County Proposition 1 (Harborview Bond Levy). GSBA previously endorsed the Approve Referendum 90 campaign that will also appear on the ballot.

Voters in Seattle should vote to approve the measure funding the special Transportation Benefit District. This measure renews the existing funding that GSBA also supported several years ago. The tax in this levy is a 0.15% sales tax (15 cents for every $100) to generate $39 million annually over six years. Losing this funding will disproportionately impact low-income and BIPOC communities and many essential workers who depend on the public transit network. The goals of this levy include safe and efficient transit for all - especially essential workers, preserve a robust transit system, make investments in underserved areas and for those with acute mobility needs, more funding for ORCA Opportunity for students and Low Income Access programs, and ensure continuity of critical transit services despite financial restrictions caused by both Initiative 976 and COVID-19. Investments in West Seattle transit are included due to the current situation with the West Seattle Bridge. 73% of the funding would be spent on transit service, 20% on mobility access, and 7% on capital projects and spot improvements. You can learn more about the Seattle-specific services supported here.
GSBA recommends that voters approve the bond measure for Harborview Medical Center. This is a capital improvement bond measure, which needs 60% approval with turnout greater than 40%. It would raise $1.74 billion in bond funding over 20 years for health and safety improvements at Harborview, the only Trauma 1 Center serving Washington, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. The majority of this funding would go toward building a new tower at the medical center, but also include a new behavioral health building, renovations, seismic upgrades, and more beds for the hospital. This property tax is equivalent to 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $68 per year for a home valued at $600,000. Campaign website | Statement from Dow Constantine