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November 4, 2014 General Election Local Voters' Pamphlet
City of Tumwater
Tumwater Transportation Benefit District

Introduction to Local Measure - For each measure in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, the legislative authority of the jurisdiction placing the measure on the ballot is required to formally appoint committees to prepare statements advocating the approval and rejection of the measure. If the jurisdiction is unable to make such appointments, the Thurston County Auditor advertises for such appointments.

The Auditor’s Office encourages you to review all statements and seek additional information from the jurisdictions, the appointed citizens’ committees and local media.

Statement Disclaimer:
Statements For and Against are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for factual or grammatical accuracy by the Auditor’s Office.
  Only voters residing within the City of Tumwater will vote on this measure.  
Proposition No. 1
Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements

The Tumwater City Council, serving as the Board of the Tumwater Transportation Benefit District, Tumwater, Washington, adopted Resolution R2015-002 concerning a sales and use tax to fund transportation improvements within the District. This proposition would approve a two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) sales and use tax to be collected for ten years. Revenues would fund a repair, maintenance and improvement program for existing city streets and associated infrastructure including rebuilding, repaving, sealing, patching and other methods to improve and extend the life of pavement, bridges, drainage facilities and pedestrian improvements including repair or replacement of sidewalks and construction of curb ramps in conjunction with authorized pavement work.

Should this proposition be:
Oval   Approved
Oval   Rejected
Explanatory Statement:

As authorized by the legislature pursuant to RCW 36.73, the Tumwater City Council created the Tumwater Transportation Benefit District (TBD) for the purpose of funding transportation improvements including repair, maintenance and improvements to existing city streets and roads.

The Tumwater City Council, serving as the governing board of the district, adopted Resolution No. 2015-002 concerning a sales and use tax to fund specified transportation improvements. This proposition would approve a sales and use tax of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%), equaling 2 cents for every $10 in taxable sales, to be collected within the district as authorized by RCW 82.14.0455 for a term of ten (10) years. These revenues would be used for funding a repair, maintenance and improvement program for existing city streets and roads and associated infrastructure such as sidewalks and curb ramps. The work would be limited to within the district boundaries which are the same as the Tumwater city limits.
Statement For:

Tumwater’s Proposition 1 is a proposal for funding improvements to Tumwater’s streets and sidewalks.    As federal and state grant money shrinks, we must raise money locally to preserve our streets and sidewalks. By increasing the city’s portion of sales tax by two tenths of one percent (.002) on retail sales, an estimated $810,000 per year of revenue will be dedicated to much needed maintenance and repairs to Tumwater’s streets. The cost is small – just 2 cents on a $10 purchase or just $1 on a $500 TV. Groceries are not subject to sales tax so this won’t increase your food bill.

We all know our streets and sidewalks are in need of repair. Any tax increase should be a thoughtful decision by those who it affects. With the extensive retail sector in Tumwater, this small sales tax increase would be paid by a majority of the users of our city streets and roads as they drive to Tumwater to shop. In this way, the funding is shared, not just collected from Tumwater residents and businesses. The funds raised by this proposition can only be used to maintain and repair existing streets and sidewalks; they cannot be used to subsidize new development.

Well maintained streets and sidewalks not only connect our community and make our streets safer, they benefit our businesses, and help our police and fire departments respond to emergencies faster.

Please support Tumwater’s Proposition 1 and vote yes to maintain and improve Tumwater’s streets and sidewalks.

Submitted by Friends of Tumwater Streets (
Ralph Osgood, Shawn Myers, Jim Tuggle
Statement Against:

Sales tax increases have an unfair and disproportionate impact on our poorest families:
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “Washington [already] has the most unfair local and state tax system in the country”, with the bottom 20% of our families already paying 16.8% of their income toward existing State & Local Taxes. An additional local sales tax increase will only further increase the disparity between wealthy and poor families’ taxes as a percentage of income.

Existing revenue sources ought to be sufficient for maintenance and improvement of streets and sidewalks:
In Tumwater’s nearly 150 year history, it has managed to maintain its streets and sidewalks without the burden of this new tax. As taxpaying citizens and families, we all know the difficulty of budgeting in the face of declining incomes and growing expenses. Unlike our municipality, however, we don’t have the luxury of taxing our way into a balanced budget. Rather, we’ve had to “tighten our belts” and adjust the priorities of our expenses to match our income. As citizens, it is our duty to hold our government to the same standards to which we hold ourselves - which means reducing inessential expenses in favor of more critical items like infrastructure maintenance.

There is no “end-date” to this tax increase:
Without predefined funding goals, this tax increase will exist in perpetuity. Long after State and Federal infrastructure funding returns to normal levels, your children will still be paying this sales tax with no end in sight.

Submitted by Cameron Wilson
Rebuttal of Statement For:

Even one year of new taxes ($810,000) is a lot of money to siphon out of Tumwater businesses and families’ budgets, let alone $8.1 million over 10 years. Sure “food” will be exempt, but the rest of our grocery bills? Prices of everything from toothpaste to diapers will go up - hitting our families where it hurts the most: our wallets.

Voting “No” sends a clear message to City leaders: don’t tax more – spend less!
Rebuttal of Statement Against:

By law, this tax can only last for 10 years and cannot be extended without another public vote.

Tumwater aggressively manages its finances with a “tighten the belt” mentality and continues to search for ways to shift resources and reduce costs. Street maintenance costs are too high to manage within existing resources. In the past Tumwater received significant state and federal grant money to help pay for street maintenance. Those funds are no longer available.
Ballots will begin arriving April 9, 2015. If you have not received your ballot by April 16,
contact our office immediately.

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