Hoquiam City Council meet via Zoom; look at Transportation Benefit District

The City of Hoquiam is moving forward with the possibility of forming a Transportation Benefit District (TBD), but not right away.

At their meeting last night, the Hoquiam City Council met via Zoom to discuss matters coming before the city.

On the agenda was a report from the Public Utilities Committee recommending that the council adopt an ordinance to put a ballot measure before the voters to create a Transportation Benefit District.

RCW 36.73.020 allows city or county governments to create transportation benefit districts and impose a tax to fund local transportation projects.

The City of Aberdeen formed their TBD in February 2013 after nearly 63% of voters approved the taxing district.

While the report was approved, numerous councilmembers spoke out against putting the measure out to voters now during the economic downturn.

While the council did unanimously approve the report, they chose to not set an election date until the future when the economy becomes more stable.



RCW 36.73.040

General powers of district.

(1) A transportation benefit district is a quasi-municipal corporation, an independent taxing “authority” within the meaning of Article VII, section 1 of the state Constitution, and a “taxing district” within the meaning of Article VII, section 2 of the state Constitution.
(2) A transportation benefit district constitutes a body corporate and possesses all the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes as well as all other powers that may now or hereafter be specifically conferred by statute, including, but not limited to, the authority to hire employees, staff, and services, to enter into contracts, to acquire, hold, and dispose of real and personal property, and to sue and be sued. Public works contract limits applicable to the jurisdiction that established the district apply to the district.
(3) To carry out the purposes of this chapter, and subject to the provisions of RCW 36.73.065, a district is authorized to impose the following taxes, fees, charges, and tolls:
(a) A sales and use tax in accordance with RCW 82.14.0455;
(b) A vehicle fee in accordance with *RCW 82.80.140;
(c) A fee or charge in accordance with RCW 36.73.120. However, if a county or city within the district area is levying a fee or charge for a transportation improvement, the fee or charge shall be credited against the amount of the fee or charge imposed by the district. Developments consisting of less than twenty residences are exempt from the fee or charge under RCW 36.73.120; and
(d) Vehicle tolls on state routes, city streets, or county roads, within the boundaries of the district, unless otherwise prohibited by law. However, consistent with RCW 47.56.820, the vehicle toll must first be authorized by the legislature if the toll is imposed on a state route. The department of transportation shall administer the collection of vehicle tolls authorized on state routes, unless otherwise specified in law or by contract, and the state transportation commission, or its successor, may approve, set, and impose the tolls in amounts sufficient to implement the district’s transportation improvement finance plan. The district shall administer the collection of vehicle tolls authorized on city streets or county roads, and shall set and impose the tolls in amounts sufficient to implement the district’s transportation improvement plan. However, consistent with RCW 47.56.850, the vehicle toll, including any change in an existing toll rate, must first be reviewed and approved by the tolling authority designated in RCW 47.56.850 if the toll, or change in toll rate, would have a significant impact, as determined by the tolling authority, on the operation of any state facility.