2/14/2013 12:35:00 PM TBD looks at charters and choices
The council passed a Transportation Benefit District last year. This board, made up of the members of the city council, has the right to pass either an additional tax or a license fee to raise money to pay for street projects within the city. The TBD board held their first meeting Jan. 28. For now, no action or decisions have been made. Instead, the group is reviewing TBDs around the state that have already passed charters. TBDs in Bremerton, Seattle and Edmonds have charters in place and the local group is examing those. A charter, if passed, would guide the TBD on what actions they should take. The local TBD has the opportunity, although not a requirement, to pass its own charter. It was put forward that the group needs to put together their charter, as well as get agreements and decisions in place, soon if they wish to be on the ballot this year. To get on ballot for the April special election, the TBD must file a resolution by March 8. To appear on the August primary ballot, they must file by May 10 and to get on the ballot in November, they must file by Aug. 6. If the TBD approves a fee of up to $20 on vehicles license within the city limits, it does not have to be approved by the voters, it can simply be implemented. However, if they wish to put a special sales tax or a fee of more than $20 in place, the measure must get voter approval. The city held several public forums on the TBD and the possibility of a fee or tax. Almost unanimously, the public spoke out in favor of a tax over a fee. That way, anyone who lives outside of town who uses the streets regularly would still be helping to pay for improvements to the roads within the city. The money raised by TBD measures can only be used for street improvements, not any other form of construction or project within the city. The next TBD meeting will be Feb. 28 at 6:15 p.m. in city hall.