A transportation benefit district (TBD) is an independent taxing district and quasi-municipal corporation. A TBD may be created to acquire, construct, improve, provide, and fund transportation improvement projects within a district. The legislative authority of a city or county may create a TBD, and other jurisdictions may be incorporated via interlocal agreements.
Transportation benefit districts have the authority to raise revenue in the following ways, each of which are subject to voter approval:
A TBD may also raise revenue by imposing an annual vehicle fee of up to $50 or by establishing transportation impact fees on commercial and industrial development, without receiving voter approval.
A TBD may only impose a sales and use tax for 10 years, unless the proceeds are dedicated to the repayment of indebtedness. A sales and use tax may also be extended for an additional 10 years with voter approval.
A sales tax imposed by a TBD may be renewed every 10 years, with an affirmative vote of the people.
(In support) Transportation benefit districts are a flexible tool for transportation funding. This bill would give them even more flexibility by extending the ability of a TBD to use sales and use taxes.
The City of Walla Walla implemented a TBD in 2012, and has since used a sales and use tax to leverage other funds at a four-to-one ratio. The city hopes to extend this sales and use tax in the future as needed.
Walla Walla chose the sales and use tax because it is a growing revenue source, to which everyone contributes. Voters should be allowed to continue the use of this tax, since it gives more revenue options.
(Other) The change in this bill was one of the primary recommendations in a recent Joint Transportation Committee study. The Transportation Improvement Board considers TBD funding as a more certain source when it is looking at funding a project.