In 1987, the Legislature created Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD) as an option for local governments to fund transportation improvements. Since 2005, the legislature has amended the TBD statute to expand its uses and revenue authority. Most recently, the legislature amended the TBD statute to authorize the imposition of vehicle fees and transportation impact fees. See Chapter 36.73 RCW for more information on this statute.
What is a Transportation Benefit District (TBD)?
A TBD is a quasi-municipal corporation and independent taxing district created for the sole purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, providing, and funding transportation improvements within the district.
Who may create a TBD?
The legislative authority of a county or city may create a TBD by ordinance following the procedures set forth in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 36.73.
Who governs the TBD?
Pursuant to RCW 36.73.020(3), the members of the legislative authority (county or city) proposing to establish the TBD is the governing body of the TBD. The legislative authority acts ex officio and independently as the TBD governing body.
Edmonds City Council establishes a TBD
On behalf of the Edmonds TBD, the Washington State Department of Licensing is collecting a $20 fee at the time a registered vehicle renewal notice is renewed within the City of Edmonds. The fee takes effect on license tabs that expire on or after September 1, 2009.
Washington state law allows local governments to establish a TBD and accompanying funding sources to provide for the preservation, maintenance, and construction of local transportation infrastructure. The City has limited funding to pay for necessary transportation preservation and maintenance. This has resulted in the need to provide an ever-increasing annual contribution from the City’s general fund to the street fund in order to continue preserving and maintaining transportation infrastructure. In 2009, this contribution is expected to reach approximately $700,000.
On November 18, 2008, after conducting a public hearing, the Edmonds City Council approved Ordinance 3707 that amended the Edmonds City Code, enacting a new Chapter 3.65, and forming the Edmonds TBD. The ordinance specifies in part that the boundaries for the TBD are to be coextensive with the existing city boundary, and funds are to be used for maintenance and preservation of existing transportation improvements. Per RCW 36.73.020(3), the Edmonds City Council, acting in an ex officio and independent capacity, also serves as the governing board of the TBD.
On February 17, 2009, the Edmonds TBD board adopted Ordinance No. 1 authorizing an annual $20 vehicle license fee. With the establishment of an annual $20 vehicle license fee, the City will begin to replace, in part, transportation funding that has been lost to the City, reduce the City’s general fund contribution, and help preserve and maintain the City’s transportation infrastructure. On behalf of the Edmonds TBD, the Washington State Department of Licensing began implementing the program to assess the new fee on Monday, July 27, 2009. The Department of Licensing began issuing renewal notices within the first week of August 2009 for any customer who lives within the Edmonds TBD.
The Washington State Department of Licensing has updated its Transportation Benefit District website to provide customers information regarding the fee.