HB 1853-S.E - DIGEST


Finds that passenger-only ferry service is a key element to the state's transportation system and that it is in the interest of the state to make provision for such services.

Finds that diminished state transportation resources require that local authorities be authorized to develop, operate, and fund needed services.

Recognizes that if the state eliminates passenger-only ferry service on one or more routes, it should provide an opportunity for locally sponsored service and the department of transportation should assist in this effort.

Declares an intent to encourage interlocal agreements to ensure passenger-only ferry service is maintained on routes that the Washington state ferry system eliminates.

Provides that a public transportation benefit area may, as part of a passenger ferry investment plan, recommend some or all of the following revenue sources as provided in this chapter: (1) A motor vehicle excise tax;

(2) A sales and use tax;

(3) Tolls for passengers and packages and, where applicable, parking; and

(4) Charges or licensing fees for advertising, leasing space for services to ferry passengers, and other revenue-generating activities.

Provides that taxes may not be imposed without an affirmative vote of the majority of the voters within the boundaries of the area voting on a single ballot proposition to both approve a passenger-only ferry investment plan and to approve taxes to implement the plan. Revenues from these taxes and fees may be used only to implement the plan and must be used for the benefit of the residents of the benefit area. A district may contract with the state department of revenue or other appropriate entities for administration and collection of any of the taxes or charges authorized in this act.

Provides a ten-mile rule exemption.

Authorizes the use of state ferry facilities.

Authorizes the legislative authority of a county with a population over one million persons and having a boundary on Puget Sound to adopt an ordinance creating a ferry district in all or a portion of the area of the county, including the area within the corporate limits of any city or town within the county. The ordinance may be adopted only after a public hearing has been held on the creation of a ferry district, and the county legislative authority makes a finding that it is in the public interest to create the district. A ferry district is limited to providing passenger-only ferry service.