Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More And More Jurisdictions Enacting Transportation Benefit Districts

The City of Spokane has one. Spokane County has been talking about developing a regional one and Bainbridge Island just got one. What am I talking about? A transportation benefit district to increase taxes or fees to repair a backlog of deteriorating roads.
More and more local jurisdictions and states are figuring out how to fund some transportation improvements on their own, in the wake of a lack of federal transportation funding. According to Transportation Issues Daily, at least twenty-five states were considering transportation funding proposals this year. In Washington State, 22 local jurisdictions have enacted transportation benefit districts, including the City of Spokane.
The Bainbridge Island Transportation Benefit District is the most recent, approving a $20 vehicle licensing fee in January. The fee is anticipated to raise more than $300,000 annually to be used for road improvements. While that won’t buy a lot of repairs, it will help reduce the growing backlog of projects and can be used for the purpose of bonding, in order to bring in more money.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.