Several people spoke out during the public comment period, Hoquiam resident Bob Nakutin hinted early on to a third option, a sales tax increase “I think it’s only fair that the people get to decide this, at least this way the people have a chance to decide what’s going to happen to in their lives.”
As a taxing authority, Grays Harbor Transit already collects %0.06 of the county’s sales tax, and could ask voters to approve up to %0.03 more. By comparison, the city of Aberdeen just passed a hike to their sales tax that is four times that amount, for their transportation benefit district.
However, Carlin said the problem with that idea was that they’d have to dip into a $1.3 million reserve, and hope that the increase passed in November. To get onto the November ballot, they’d have to submit a request to the County Auditor’s office by July 8th.
Carlin recommended that the board cut weekend services instead of thinning down the 7-day schedule, mostly because they’d see the financial benefits sooner but also because it would affect about 50,000 less customers annually. He planned to review a few more options to present at two public meetings that are scheduled for June 20th @2, and 25th @6, locations for those will be announced later today.