Whenever the department enters into a contract with the governing body of a county that has assumed the rights, powers, functions, and obligations of a metropolitan municipal corporation under chapter 36.56
RCW and is operating a public transportation system for the collection of congestion reduction charges authorized under *RCW 82.80.055
(1) The contract must require that the governing body provide any information specified by the department to identify the vehicle owners who owe the congestion reduction charges, and must specify that it is the responsibility of the governing body to ensure that the congestion reduction charges are appropriately applied;
(2) The department is not responsible for the collection of congestion reduction charges until a date agreed to by both parties as specified in the contract;
(3) The department shall deduct a percentage amount as provided in the contract, not to exceed three percent of the charges collected, necessary to reimburse the department for the costs incurred for the collection of the congestion reduction charges; and
(4) The department shall remit remaining proceeds to the custody of the state treasurer. The state treasurer shall distribute the proceeds to the governing body on a monthly basis.
Intent—2011 c 373: "The legislature recognizes that public transportation provides many benefits to the citizens of the state and the environment, including through public transportation's ability to alleviate congestion and offset the burdens placed by general vehicular traffic on the state's transportation infrastructure. In these challenging economic times, many transit agencies find themselves struggling to continue to provide a level of service that reduces congestion.
The legislature further recognizes that King county conducted a regional transit task force in 2010 that considered a policy framework for the potential future growth and, if necessary, contraction of King county's transit system. The task force members were selected to represent a broad diversity of interests and perspectives. The task force recommendations, which were unanimously accepted, addressed key elements, such as the adoption of performance measures, controlling operating costs, developing policy guidance for making service reductions, and clear and transparent guidelines for service allocation. As a result of the work done by the task force and King county's commitment to comply with the recommendations, it is the intent of the legislature that King county be provided the opportunity to impose a temporary congestion reduction charge, which is separate and distinct from the base motor vehicle license fee, that can help address its revenue shortfalls during this economic crisis and allow it to continue reducing congestion and the corresponding burdens placed on the highway system on some of the state's most crowded corridors.
The legislature recognizes that the title of Initiative Measure No. 1053 states that it applies only to tax and fee increases imposed by state government, and that the text of the initiative requires a two-thirds majority only for tax increases. The legislature further recognizes that Initiative Measure No. 1053 does not apply to local government. Despite these facts, this act requires a two-thirds majority of the metropolitan King county council in order to implement a local option fee, in the form of a congestion reduction charge, to help fund King county metro transit service. Faced with the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of hours of vital transit service, it is the intent of the legislature to provide King county with this temporary local option funding mechanism. It is further the intent of the legislature not to expand the parameters of Initiative Measure No. 1053 beyond what the voters intended and thus interfere with local control or limit the ability of local governments to provide services to the people of Washington." [ 2011 c 373 § 1