Aberdeen Transportation Benefit District gets extension approval

A majority of Aberdeen voters are currently approving of an extension of the Transportation Benefit District (TBD) in the city.

Following the first count of ballots from the February Special Election, 55.31% of voters are in favor of a 10 year extension of the TBD and an increase in funding.

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 Tuesday, 1647 ballots were accounted for, with 911 of them in favor. 

Voters were asked to approve the 10 year extension of the district with the initial six-year tax collection set to expire in June.

The extension also brings with it a rate increase from 0.13%, or 13 cents on every 100 dollars in taxable goods purchased within the city, to 0.18%.

The City is allowed to issue a sales and use tax of up to 0.2% according to RCW 82.14.0455/RCW 36.73.040(3)(a), which must be approved by a simple majority of voters.

This TBD is limited to 10 years, although an additional 10 years could be added by voters.

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.“

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.”

Also on Tuesday, over 80% of voters are approving tax levies in Grays Harbor Fire District 4 in Lake Quinault and Fire District 15 in North River. Voters also came out in support of the dissolution of Grays Harbor Fire Districts 3 & 11, after they were combined into the South Beach Regional Fire Authority.

  • Over 100 other Transportation Benefit Districts exist across the state. This includes Shelton and many other cities 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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