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Transportation Benefit District

Through the cooperative efforts of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Washington State Associations of Counties (WSAC), significant legislation will go into effect on July 22, which results in the most important local transportation tool for cities and counties in sixteen years—Transportation Benefit Districts (TBDs). They are independent taxing districts that can impose an array of taxes or fees either through a vote of the people or through council action. TBDs are flexible: they allow cities and counties to work cooperatively on addressing both regional and local transportation challenges.

A transportation benefit district is an independent taxing district created solely to acquire, construct, improve, provide and fund transportation improvements within a defined area. That area can be defined with a great deal of flexibility—it can encompass a broad array of counties, cities, and port or transit districts depending upon each jurisdiction’s willingness to enter an interlocal agreement.

A TBD also has access to a variety of funding mechanisms. Two of these—setting an annual vehicle fee and levying transportation impact fees—do not require voter approval, although they are subject to other conditions. TBDs can also ask voters to approve several new revenue sources, including increased property taxes, sales tax, annual vehicle fees, and tolls.

Click here for more information on TBDs in Washington State.

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