Tacoma City Manager 'disappointed' by Prop. 1 failure

A ballot measure backed by the City of Tacoma and intended to raise money to fix Tacoma’s roads was rejected by voters this week.

If approved, Proposition 1 would have levied an additional two-percent tax on natural gas, electric and phone company earnings for the purpose of funding Tacoma-wide neighborhood streets and safety improvements. According to City of Tacoma officials, the additional funding would have generated as much as $11 million annually to address the roughly $800 million in additional revenue needed to fix existing transportation infrastructure inadequacies.

According to the Pierce County Auditor’s Office, 59.2 percent of voters rejected the plan. Nearly 23,000 Tacoma residents voted on the issue, according to Pierce County officials.

“While I am disappointed in the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1, it will not discourage me from continuing to pursue a sustainable revenue source to fund the much needed street improvements and safety upgrades the residents of Tacoma deserve,” said Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax. “I firmly believe well-maintained infrastructure is critical to the quality of life, health, safety and economic vitality of a city and often makes the difference in whether or not a person or business chooses to live or invest in a community.”

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber emerged as a major opponent to the proposal.

“The Chamber is excited the early returns show voters’ rejection of an inadequate and unfair fix for our roads,” said Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson shortly after election results were first reported. “We continue to support responsible and sustainable planning that will improve Tacoma’s roads. We are ready to work on a real solution.”