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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Ramiro Chavez, Thurston County Public Works Director, 360-867-2271 or Chavezr@co.thurston.wa.us
Scott Lindblom, Thurston County Engineer, 360-867-2329 or lindbls@co.thurston.wa.us

Public Encouraged to find out about County’s Transportation Benefit
Web site and community presentations available

OLYMPIA - Thurston County's Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is a quasi-municipal corporation and taxing district created for acquiring, constructing, improving, and funding transportation improvements. County Commissioners, acting as the TBD Board, created the district in the unincorporated areas to use local money to fund local projects that would:

Preserve existing transportation infrastructure - saving taxpayers money
Improve road and driver safety
Use updated technology, saving time and reducing congestion

County Commissioners formed the district late in 2014. Currently, county Public Works officials are giving presentations to community groups to explain the TBD and to gain input regarding the funding of the District and potential transportation-related activities that might be undertaken.

Public Works Director Ramiro Chavez says The County is facing significant challenges when it comes to transportation. "Our roads and bridges are aging and every year that projects are deferred, the cost goes up. In addition, the population grew by 60,000 the past 15 years meaning more wear and tear on the system. Another contributing factor is inflation in the cost of materials for transportation projects."

State law allows TBDs to collect different kinds of taxes and fees. Some do not require voter approval including:
  • Vehicle license fee that is collected with new car tabs each year.
  • Transportation Impact Fees on commercial and industrial buildings.

Some do require voter approval including:
  • A sales and use tax up to 0.2%.
  • Property taxes-a 1-year excess levy or an excess levy for capital purposes.
  • Vehicle tolls

Those interested in having a Transportation Benefit District presentation to their neighborhood group, civic club or business organization can contact Thurston County Public Works at 360-867-2300.

In 2016, the TBD Board may vote on a revenue source enabling local decisions for local projects using local dollars. The Board would then work with citizens and Public Works to set up a work plan to prioritize transportation projects.





County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3