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February 14, 2017, Special Election Voters' Pamphlet

City of Lacey
Lacey Transportation Benefit District
Proposition No. 1
Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements

Introduction to Local Measure - For the measure in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, the City of Lacey is required to formally appoint committees to prepare statements advocating the approval and rejection of the measure. If the City of Lacey 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.
Please Note: 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 Lacey may vote on this measure.  
Ballot Title:

The Lacey City Council, serving as the Board of the Lacey Transportation Benefit District, Lacey, Washington, adopted Resolution 1043 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 Pavement Management Program to provide for pavement maintenance and preservation to extend the life of the city street system through the use of structural rehabilitation, pavement repair, patching, asphalt resurfacing, slurry seal, other restoration and resurfacing methods, and pedestrian improvements including repair or replacement of sidewalks and construction of curb ramps in conjunction with the Pavement Management Program.

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

As authorized by the legislature pursuant to RCW 36.73, the Lacey City Council created the Lacey Transportation Benefit District (TBD) for the purpose of funding transportation improvements including repair, maintenance and improvements to existing city streets and roads. The Lacey City Council, serving as the governing board of the TBD, adopted Resolution No. 1043 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 TBD boundaries which are the same as the corporate limits of the City of Lacey as they currently exist or as they may exist in the future.

Statement For:

This tax increase is necessary and needed
When the City of Lacey was formed 50 years ago, one of the first things the council did was to set aside money for street and road maintenance. It has continue that program until the present day. The result - - Lacey has some of the best streets in the entire state.

However, the Great Recession forced the city to cut back on street maintenance, while the city continued to grow. The council has approved a .02 percent increase in the state sales tax to fund street and sidewalk maintenance. This is a wise idea since all of the people who drive on Lacey streets and shop in Lacey stores will have to help pay for street and road maintenance. The burden won’t be on Lacey residents alone.

The money will go into a dedicated fund and can only be used for street and sidewalk maintenance. It can’t be used for any other purpose. And, it expires in 10 years unless approved by us - the voters.

Normally I oppose tax increases, but I know how important good streets are for safety, and for the future of the City of Lacey. I ask you to join with me and Approve this tax which will be on your ballot February 14.

Statement prepared by: Ken Balsley,, (360) 456-8964.

Statement Against:

Will approval of this measure alleviate road congestion? – No.
This proposal asks Lacey voters to approve a significant sales tax increase, with the claim that this tax will help improve our transportation system and relieve congestion. Because this measure fails to guarantee that congestion will actually be improved and raises our already-high sales tax, we ask voters to reject this measure.

Approving this regressive tax doesn’t mean more money will be spent on roads.
Other jurisdictions have approved this tax increase, and the total amount of money spent on roads remained the same or even decreased. This is because money from the new tax can be offset by taking pre-existing transportation money and putting it back into the general fund. Oftentimes, this money is used to pay for non-essential pet projects of city leaders. Simply put, it’s nothing more than a budgetary shell game – with you and your family footing the bill.

An unnecessary tax increase -- Lacey already has a budget big enough to improve roads.
In 2016, the City of Lacey’s budget was $128 million, an above average budget for similar sized cities. With rising property values and increased City of Lacey property tax revenue, Lacey should be able to fund transportation improvements within existing revenue.

The bottom line? Vote “no” to prevent sales tax increase.
It is our job as voters to send a message to city politicians -- reprioritize expenditures and live within your means. Please vote “No”.

Statement prepared by Taxpayers Against Prop. 1: Conner Edwards & Glen Morgan, (360) 791-6556.

Rebuttal of Statement For:

Lacey does have better roads than Olympia, Tumwater or Thurston County. This is a testament to managing our money well and using it more wisely than these other jurisdictions.

There is no reason for Lacey to repeat the failures of our neighbors by increasing our taxes unnecessarily. Please vote “no” by February 14th.

Rebuttal of Statement Against:

This is not a significant tax increase. It will equal two cents on a $10 purchase. But It will increase the money for street and sidewalk improvement by nearly 40 percent. The money will be put in a separate fund and cannot be used for any other activity.

Opponents are right. It won’t improve traffic flow, but it will make sure that those using city streets will drive on safer surfaces particularly in our neighborhoods...

Ballots available beginning January 25, 2017.
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