Tacoma’s City Council and the Transportation Benefit District, which is also the council, voted to approve two street repair and maintenance funding resolutions that will place two separate propositions on the November general election ballot.
These propositions must be placed separately since funding will come from both the City and the Transportation Benefit District. The first ballot measure, Proposition 3, is under the City and would levy a 1.5 percent tax on power, natural gas and phone service earnings and levy an additional 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on property tax. The second ballot measure, Proposition 4, is under the Transportation Benefit District and would increase sales tax by 1/10 of a percent.
If passed, these measures would raise dedicated funds to rebuild and maintain up to 70 percent of the residential street network, and address projects included in the Transportation Master Plan and six-year Comprehensive Transportation Program. The funding package language identifies projects such as residential street maintenance, arterial streets and freight access, along with walking and biking infrastructure improvements. These measures would sunset after 10 years and would generate a projected $175 million with an estimated cost of $7.50 per household per month.
"Now is the time to take action and raise dedicated funds to fix Tacoma's streets,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “This plan holds us accountable for delivering results and will create more than 400 direct and indirect family wage jobs.”
In addition to the funds, these measures would leverage an estimated $120 million in grants and matching funds and the City’s General Fund would commit an additional $30 million. The accumulation of all these sources would raise a total of $325 million for Tacoma’s streets over a 10-year period.
Over the next three months, City staff will provide opportunities to learn more about these ballot measures so citizens can make an informed decision on Nov. 3.