Transportation Benefit District

Street Overlay Picture 2019

 A Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is a Quasi-municipal corporation and independent taxing district created for the sole purpose of funding transportation improvements within the district. A TBD is created by ordinance of legislative authority (county or city) and may include other counties, cities, port districts, or transit districts through inter-local agreements. A law passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2007 allows city or county governments to create local transportation benefit districts and impose a local vehicle registration fee or other funding sources (such as sales tax) to fund local transportation projects. TBDs in Washington State have primarily been funded by a vehicle registration fees, but a few cities have implemented a sales tax funded TBD.  

At the November 29, 2010 Board Meeting the TBD Board adopted TBD Ordinance #2 enacting an annual $20 vehicle registration fee (for each eligible vehicle registered in Lynnwood). At the July 27, 2016 Board Meeting the TBD Board adopted TBD Ordinance #10 increasing the fee to $40. The $40 fee (increase from $20 to $40) went into effect on February 1, 2017 and generates a total approximately $1.2M annually for transportation projects. On November 8, 2016, the Lynnwood voters approved a 0.1% sales and use tax increase to fund roads in Lynnwood through the TBD. The tax increase went into effect on April 1, 2017, lasts for 10 years and is expected to generate approximately $2.5M per year. 

The projects to be funded (in whole or in part) by both the vehicle registration fee and the sales and use tax include:

  • Preventative and routine pavement maintenance and reconstruction
  • Street and traffic maintenance and operations
  • Other capital projects as identified in the City’s Transportation Plan
Lynnwood City Council Establishes a TBD

On May 24, 2010 the Lynnwood City Council approved Ordinance #2837 that formed the Lynnwood Transportation Benefit District and adopted a new chapter to the Lynnwood Municipal Code, 12.14, entitled “Transportation Benefit District”. The ordinance specifies that the boundaries for the TBD be coextensive with the City limits.

Lynnwood TBD Chronology of Events

At the November 29, 2010 Board Meeting the TBD Board adopted TBD Ordinance #2 enacting an annual $20 vehicle registration fee (for each eligible vehicle registered in Lynnwood). The $20 fee went into effect on July 1, 2011. At the July 27, 2016 Board Meeting the TBD Board adopted TBD Ordinance #10 increasing the fee to $40. The $40 fee (increase from $20 to $40) went into effect on February 1, 2017. At the April 20, 2016 Board Meeting the TBD Board voted to submit a ballot proposition for the November 8, 2016 election to impose a sales and use tax increase in the amount of 0.1%. On November 8, 2016, the Lynnwood voters approved a 0.1% sales and use tax increase to fund road improvements in Lynnwood. The increase went into effect on April 1, 2017 and last 10 years.

Additional TBD Information

For more information on vehicle registration fee funded TBDs and the type of vehicles subject to fees, please see the Washington State Department of licensing web site at: For Washington State TBD law, see the following:

Board President Ian Cotton

Board Member Julieta Altamirano-Crosby

Board Member George Hurst

Board Member Christine Frizzell 

Board Member Ruth Ross

Board Member Shannon Sessions

Board Member Jim Smith

Who may create a TBD?

The legislative authority of a county or city may create a TBD by ordinance following the procedures set forth in Chapter 36.73.

Who governs the TBD?

The members of the legislative authority (county or city) proposing to establish the TBD is the governing body of the TBD. The legislative authority is acting ex officio and independently as the TBD governing body.

What transportation improvements can be funded by a TBD?

A TBD can fund any transportation improvement contained in any existing state, regional, or local transportation plan that is necessitated by existing or reasonably foreseeable congestion levels. This can include maintenance and improvements to city streets, county roads, state highways, investments in high capacity transportation, public transportation, transportation demand management and other transportation projects identified in the agency’s transportation plan.

Can a TBD fund maintenance and preservation activities?

Yes. A TBD may fund the operation, maintenance, and preservation of the programs and facilities noted above.

What revenue options do TBD’s have?

TBD’s have several revenue options subject to voter approval: Property taxes – a 1-year excess levy or an excess levy for capital purposes; Up to 0.2% sales and use tax; Up to $100 annual vehicle fee per vehicle registered in the district; and Vehicle tolls. Please Note: There are exemptions or unique requirements when using the vehicle fee or vehicle tolls.

TBD’s have two revenue options not subject to voter approval, but subject to additional conditions: Annual vehicle fee up to $40. This fee is collected at the time of vehicle renewal and cannot be used to fund passenger only ferry-service improvements. Transportation impact fees on commercial and industrial buildings. Residential buildings are excluded. In addition, a county or city must provide a credit for a commercial or industrial transportation impact if the respective county or city has already imposed a transportation impact fee. Please Note: Foregoing a vote is an option only. A county or city still has the option of placing either the annual fee of up to $40 or the impact fees to the vote of the people as an advisory vote or an actual requirement of imposition.

Are TBD revenues required to be spent as they are collected?

No. The governing body must develop a plan that specifies the transportation improvements to be provided or funded by the TBD. As part of this plan, the TBD’s governing board can indicate if the funds will be used immediately, or if they will be collected for a specified period. Typically, funds that are collected for a specified period before being expended are used to fully fund large projects, when bonding, or serve as a match for state or federal funds that may only become available in a specified time frame.

Are any vehicles exempt from a TBD vehicle registration fee?

To see a list of exempt vehicles visit the RCW  82.80.140

What other requirements should I be aware of?

If project costs exceed original costs by more than 20 percent, a public hearing must be held to solicit public comment regarding how the cost change should be resolved. The TBD must issue an annual report to include the status of project costs, revenues, expenditures, and construction schedules.

The TBD must be dissolved upon completion of the project(s) and the payment of debt service.

The meeting site is accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations may request written materials in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations by contacting David Mach at 425-670-5275 or by e-mail at Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the event sponsor through the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1.

El lugar de la reunión es accesible para las personas con discapacidades. Los individuos que requieran acomodación razonable pueden solicitar materiales impresos en formatos alternos, intérpretes de lenguaje de señas, acomodación de accesibilidad física, y otras acomodaciones razonables, informando al patrocinador David Mach at 425-670-5275 or by e-mail at  Las personas que son sordas o tienen impedimentos del oído pueden informar al patrocinador del evento por medio del Servicio de Relé de Washington, llamando al 7-1-1.