A suggestion that the City of Spokane Valley look into creating a transportation benefit district (TBD) to fund transportation improvements was not embraced by city council members. According to the Spokesman-Review, at Tuesday’s weekly council meeting, following a staff presentation on TBDs, several council members said they hoped they wouldn’t need to create such a district or impose new taxes.
Councilman Ed Pace had asked about TBDs a couple of months ago, resulting in the presentation. A TBD is an independent unit like a public facilities district that has the ability to issue a tax to fund transportation improvements.
Currently, road maintenance in Spokane Valley is funded by a tax on telephone lines, which is dropping as people switch over to just cell phones. The city has been investigating other options to fund streets, including a license tab fee like the one the City of Spokane implanted in 2011. A fee up to $50 can be imposed without having to go on a ballot. A license tab fee of $20 would bring in around $1.4 million.
A sales and use tax is also an option, but would have to be voter-approved, as would a property tax increase. Or all three kinds of taxes could be applied at the same time.
There was no action taken Tuesday on implementing a new way to fund transportation.