New taxes are seldom a popular idea.
This week, however, Bainbridge Island leaders took bold action in approving a new $20 car tab fee that will create a new revenue stream to be used to improve the island’s underfunded road system.
We’ve repeatedly supported the idea of the car tab fee, given the city’s inability — thanks to declining budgets, rising costs and the loss of vital MVET funding in years’ past — to fully fund improvements and repairs to the island’s transportation system.
And the idea for a car tab tax is not especially new; it’s been brought up before by those on the Bainbridge Island City Council.
Those who rely on Bainbridge’s road system — that’s all of us, to be sure — and want to see it maintained and improved owe a debt of thanks to city leaders and two members of city government in particular.
First and foremost, credit goes to Councilwoman Anne Blair, the champion of the new car tab fee who refused to give up on the proposal when it seemed to be losing traction in recent weeks.
Kudos also go to Councilman Steve Bonkowski, whose reluctance to move forward on the measure in the recent past was replaced by a “yes” vote on the new tax in his position as a board member for the city’s Transportation Benefit District.
It’s a welcome sight to see Bonkowski, who will be an influential voice as Bainbridge’s new mayor, add his support to such a worthy endeavor.