Washington State law allows cities and counties to create a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) that collects certain fees and taxes to help implement transportation projects within its boundaries. This legislation protects the revenue raised by the TBD by not allowing it to be used on other county programs. For more information about Washington State TBD Legislation, click here.
In 2014, Thurston County created a TBD covering the unincorporated areas of the County. It does not include any incorporated cities or towns, but it does include the urban growth areas just outside the city limits of the cities and towns.
The goal is to invest revenue raised by the TBD to improve Thurston County’s transportation network by making roads safer, increasing our investment in preservation, and updating our technology.
Poor road conditions are estimated to cost
each Washington driver $656 worth of vehicle
wear and tear every year*. We can keep roads
in good shape by performing regular maintenance
and preservation activities. TBD revenue can
help fund roadway maintenance that reduces vehicle
wear and tear costs for drivers, but also offers
substantial cost savings for taxpayers. Minor
roadway repairs can save 90% or more per mile
compared to the cost of major reconstruction.
*Source: 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, American Society of Civil Engineers
Example Projects (images of each)
Source: Fehr & Peers
Traffic collisions are the 4th leading cause of death for Thurston County residents – between 2013 and 2017, there were 132 fatal and serious injury collisions in Thurston County*. Washington State has adopted Target Zero — a goal to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Washington's roadways to zero by the year 2030. Funds from the TBD will help Thurston County achieve Target Zero.
*Source: Washington State Department of Transportation
Investing TBD funds in state-of-the-art transportation technologies can improve the efficiency of our transportation system by reducing travel times, improving safety, and streamlining maintenance and reducing energy use.
State law allows TBDs to collect two types of fees: board approved and voter approved fees. The TBD Board is considering two potential funding sources – (1) car tab fees requiring board approval and (2) a sales tax requiring voter approval.
Board approved fees
Annual vehicle license (car tab) fees that start at $20 per year and can increase to no more than $50 after 4 years
Voter approved fees
A sales and use tax up to 0.2%, equivalent to 2 cents on a $10 purchase
Other funding options available but not being
considered at this time
Property tax—1-year excess levy