A measure to increase Pierce Transit funding by raising local sales tax was too close to call Tuesday.
Approval would raise sales tax within Pierce Transits boundaries by three-tenths of 1 percent, which means a total of 9 cents would go to the agency for every $10 spent.
Rejection means weekend service would end, there would be no buses after 7 p.m. and the agencys disability service would also be reduced, officials say.
Nick Sherwood with the Reject Proposition 1 campaign said he hoped failure of the measure would cause Pierce Transit to "start getting serious about listening to taxpayers."
This wasnt the agencys first time asking for the increase. It eliminated about 200,000 of its 622,000 service hours after voters turned down an identical tax measure in 2011.
Earlier this year, the agency redrew its boundaries, carving out areas of low voter support and reducing its tax-collection and service area.
If the measure fails again, work begins to cut service hours from 419,000 to 197,000 by spring 2014.
If it passes, the agency says it will increase service hours from 419,000 to 515,000 by 2017 and restore special event service.
That would mean continued economic development and ability to get people to work and to appointments, Restore Transit Now manager Kate Whiting said.
The Pierce Transit board will decide how to implement the service reductions or restorations, depending on the results of the election. The agency will seek public comment before making any changes.
Pierce Transit officials say the new revenue is needed for the agency to recover from the hit its sales tax collections took in the recession.
Opponents of the tax increase argued that it would drive business out of the county, especially automobile sales. Tacomas sales tax would be 9.8 percent and 10.1 percent for car sales with the increase.
They claimed that a new contract with the bus drivers union didnt go far enough to cut Pierce Transit employee costs. The contract, approved in August, eliminates most wage increases for Pierce Transit employees and requires them to cover more of their medical costs.