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Transportation Benefit District up to voters for extension/increase

A measure up to Aberdeen voters would extend the Transportation Benefit District tax another 10 years and add an increase.

In February 2013, Aberdeen voters approved a six-year 0.13% sales tax increase for the Transportation Benefit District to fund additional projects in the city. The vote at that time was nearly 63% majority in favor.

On ballots sent to Aberdeen residents for the February 12 Special Election, the City of Aberdeen says that with the six-year tax collection set to expire in June 2019, the City Council is asking residents to approve a 10-year extension.

TBD-funded paving on Haight Street

According to the city, from July 2013 through the end of 2018, the current tax generated $2,967,390.61 of revenue, of which $2,861,950.01 has been spent on transportation projects.

The city added, “With Aberdeen being a regional commercial center, much of this revenue has been generated from purchases by non-residents.“

The proposed 10-year rate would be increased from 0.13%, or 13 cents on every 100 dollars in taxable goods purchased within the city, to 0.18% due to “strong citizen approval of the transportation work completed and due to a long list of projects still to complete”.

Tax revenue from the TBD by law may only be used “for construction, maintenance, and operation costs for transportation projects that are included in a local, regional, or state transportation plan.”

In Aberdeen, this plan is presented to the council at public meetings before approval.

 

From City handout;

Q: What happens if the tax extension is not approved?
A: The tax would end in June of 2019 and the fund would stop collecting revenue. A final annual
project plan for TBD would be developed to use remaining funds in 2019. The transportation
system would continue to be maintained and improved with funds from the City’s annual
budget, albeit at a considerably slower rate. The approximately $540,000 per year that the TBD
tax has generated has allowed for faster implementation of repairs and improvements.

Q: What happens if the tax extension is approved?
A: The tax will be extended for 10 years and will generate an estimated $748,000 of annual
revenue to be used solely for TBD transportation improvements in addition to the City’s regular
annual budget for street work. With Aberdeen being a regional commercial center, a large
portion of the revenue will be generated from purchases by non-residents.

Full handout available here in PDF


 

A number of other Transportation Benefit Districts exist across the state, over 100 in total. This includes Shelton and many other citiess who charge a 0.20% sales tax or a $20 license fee.

List of transportation benefit districts from the Municipal Research and Services Center (Excel)

The City’s Engineering Department put together a map showing what the six-year TBD tax collection has funded since it began in 2013:

https://maps.aberdeenwa.gov/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=fefabed9d53c4388b66d0b0c2622da4e

 

More information about Transportation Benefit Districts can be found on the MRSC website:

http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Finance/Special-Topics/Transportation-Benefit-Districts.aspx

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