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Transportation Benefit District

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Airway Heights Transportation Benefit District Up for Renewal 

More than 70% of vehicles traveling through the city of Airway Heights along U.S. Highway 2 stop for food, fuel or shopping. The City Council wants to renew its Transportation Benefit District (TBD) to continue collecting sales tax from travelers and residents to relieve traffic congestion and maintain city streets. 

In 2013, voters approved and funded the Airway Heights TBD with a two-tenths of one percent sales tax on goods and services. In money, this equals two cents on a $10 purchase. In 2021, the TBD raised approximately $635,000 for street maintenance, sidewalks and traffic congestion relief projects. 

The Washington State Legislature recently increased the TBD funding limit to three-tenths of one percent. In money, this would be three cents on a $10 purchase. 

Voter approval is required to renew the TBD and fund it at the new amount. If approved by voters, the TBD would generate approximately $935,000 a year for transportation projects in Airway Heights.

Sales tax from travelers reduces the amount of funding required from local residents. Revenue also provides matching funds for state and federal grants to help stretch local tax dollars further.

The measure will be on the November 8, 2022 General Election ballot. 

 

PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

The City of Airway Heights would welcome the opportunity to provide a virtual or in-person presentation to local groups and organizations about the renewal of funding for the Transportation Benefit District on the November 8, 2022 ballot.

To arrange a 15-30 minute presentation, please contact Albert Tripp, City Administrator at 509-434-4885 or atripp@cawh.org.

 

FAQs

What is on my ballot?
The Airway Heights City Council is asking voters to renew its Transportation Benefit District (TBD) and fund it with a 0.3% (three tenths of one percent) sales tax. The monetary equivalent is three cents on a $10 purchase. The measure will be on the November 8, 2022 General Election ballot.

What is a Transportation Benefit District?
A Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is a designated area that raises revenue to acquire, construct, improve, provide, and fund transportation improvements. 

Why is my city asking for this?
More than 70% of vehicles traveling along U.S. Highway 2 stop in the city of Airway Heights. The money visitors spend generates most of the sales tax the city collects to serve local residents. Renewing the TBD reduces the amount of funding required from local residents for transportation projects.

Why is a TBD funded by sales tax? Is there another way to fund a TBD?
Many communities feel that a sales tax is a fairer way to fund transportation improvements because it applies to visitors as well as residents. The other way a city could fund a TBD is through a non-voted car tab fee passed by a city council. 

What types of projects does a TBD fund?
TBD-funded improvements include traffic congestion relief, sidewalk connections and repairs, street and road maintenance, and multi-use pathways or trails. Revenue also can be used as matching funds to access larger grants.

How much has the TBD raised by providing matching fund for grants?
The TBD currently raises approximately $635,000 per year. Some of the revenue has been used as matching funds to bring more than $10 million in grants to the city.

How is our TBD funded now?
The Airway Heights TBD is funded by a 0.2% (two tenths of one percent) sales tax (two cents on a $10 purchase). The city is asking voters to increase it to 0.3% (three tenths of one percent). The difference or increase would be one tenth of one percent, or one cent on a $10 purchase. Sales tax is the largest revenue generator for city services residents want. However, the city retains just over one cent of the 9.1 cents collected in sales tax on every dollar spent – and this amount includes the TBD.

When did voters last approve the TBD? How long does a TBD last?
Voters in the city of Airway Heights approved a TBD in 2013. TBDs last 10 years, and sales tax funding must be approved by voters.

 

In The News

Airway Heights to ask residents to renew transportation benefit district – Spokane Public Radio, August 4, 2022