The Battle Ground Transportation Benefit District (TBD) was established as a means to provide adequate levels of funding to preserve and maintain the transportation infrastructure of the city. A TBD is a local funding tool, a public entity created for the sole purpose of ongoing transportation improvement projects that preserve and maintain the city’s transportation infrastructure.
Since July of 2015, residents who live in the city limits are assessed a $20 TBD fee when renewing or purchasing vehicle tabs. The revenue generated, approximately $250,000 annually, is used for the sole purpose of maintaining and preserving public roads within the city of Battle Ground.
The great recession and state-imposed fiscal restraints have resulted in years of deferred maintenance to publicly owned assets and infrastructure; city roads are crumbling due to lack of funding for maintenance and preservation. The city took action to prevent further decay of publicly owned transportation infrastructure by establishing the TBD and $20 vehicle tab fee. State support for local road maintenance projects is no longer a viable option; the city must take care of its own.
Since its implementation, the TBD has funded over 7 miles of road maintenance and preservation through crack and slurry sealing, 23 miles of lane striping, and thermoplastic repair of worn crosswalk panels, turn arrows, bike lanes. (Maps indicating the TBD projects completed to date are available by selecting the TBD link below.) With over 70 miles of roads in the city, at varying levels of needed maintenance or repair (from slurry sealing to complete reconstruction), there is much more to accomplish. State and federal mandates, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, add yet another level of obligation.
This year, $65,000 of TBD revenue will be used to leverage additional funding for a section of the $5.6 million South Parkway Improvement Project. The city was able to obtain a Transportation Improvement Board grant for the northern section of the project by meeting a 15% match requirement. $65,000 of TBD revenue was leveraged to obtain a grant in the amount of $366,747. The city will continue to seek these opportunities to leverage and enhance the taxpayer’s investment. TBD revenue provides that opportunity.
Cities must comply with state law and there are many restrictions on how cities collect and appropriate revenue in order to provide services. State-allowed TBD options include the $20 vehicle tab fee that is currently in effect; city council may enact a $40 vehicle tab fee; a $50 tab fee; or may place an initiative on the ballot to increase the sales tax within the city by .02%. The sales tax option would add 2 cents ($.02) to a $100 purchase and would be imposed on all who purchase taxable items in the city of Battle Ground, regardless of their residency, and would provide approximately $580,000 in annual revenue dedicated to road maintenance and preservation.
At their February 6 meeting, city council considered a resolution to increase the current $20 vehicle tab fee to $40 as allowed under state law. They ultimately chose not to take action at that meeting, but may consider the increase in the future. A $20 increase would provide an annual total of approximately $500,000 dedicated to road maintenance and preservation.
Council meetings are scheduled for the first and third Monday of every month, are open to the public, and the public is encouraged to attend. The city’s website contains a calendar of meetings, the Agenda Center archive of previous meeting agendas and minutes, and a Notify Me feature in which one can subscribe to receive notifications of meetings, agendas, city news, and more.