One of the reasons that Gov. Gregoire vetoed a $20 vehicle license fee for transit last year was that counties already could create transportation benefit districts to levy a similar fee. However, such a district requires support of 60% of municipal governments comprising at least 75% of the County’s population, although there is no public vote.
On November 3rd of last year Executive Triplett sent a letter to municipalities asking for cities to express support for such a countywide TBD by November 18th. The legislation itself claims that no cities responded affirmatively, while several directly declined.
Given the lack of positive response, the County Council voted 8-0 (Constantine’s seat is unfilled) yesterday to go ahead with a TBD in the unincorporated areas of King County, though the bill does not yet impose the $20 fee. The funding would go to a variety of projects (Excel file). Many are road projects (including the structurally unsound South Park Bridge), but there are quite a few sidewalk and bike lane improvements. However, as one might expect there isn’t much in the way of relief for Metro in this measure.
Other documents related to this measure are here.
In other news, the Council approved their legislative agenda, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone.