TBD - Frequently Asked Questions

About the TBD

A Transportation Benefit District (TBD) is a quasi-municipal corporation and independent taxing district created for the sole purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, providing, and funding transportation improvements within the district.

The legislative authority of a county or city may create a TBD by ordinance following the procedures set forth in RCW Chapter 36.73. The county or city proposing to create the TBD may include other counties, cities, port districts, or transit districts through interlocal agreements.

A county or city may choose to have the TBD boundaries identical with the county or city, or just include a portion of the city or county. However, if a TBD chooses to exercise the tax authority that does not require a public vote, the boundaries of the TBD must be countywide, citywide, or unincorporated countywide. The physical boundaries of the Olympia TBD are identical with the Olympia City limits.

The members of the legislative authority (county or city) proposing to establish the TBD is the governing body of the TBD. The Olympia TBD Board consists of all members of the Olympia City Council. The legislative authority is acting ex-officio and independently as the governing body. If a TBD includes other jurisdictions through interlocal agreements, then the governing body must have at least five members, including at least one elected official from each of the participating jurisdictions.

The TBD Board will meet on the fourth Tuesday of January and September and hold special meetings as necessary, as set forth in TBD Resolution 1. Meetings will be held in the Olympia Council Chambers, 601 4th Avenue E at 6:00 p.m.

A TBD is a legal authority. Although a TBD has many of the powers of a county or city (imposes taxes, eminent domain powers, can contract, etc.), it is a separate taxing district. Additionally, by being a separate legal and taxing authority, TBDs are flexible. For example, more than one type of jurisdiction can be part of a TBD and the boundaries can be less than countywide or citywide.

No. The creation of a TBD must be through an ordinance. The ordinance must include a finding that the creation of a TBD is in the public’s interest, the boundaries of the TBD, a description of the transportation improvements proposed by the district, and the proposed taxes and fee charges the TBD will impose to raise revenue to fund the identified improvements.

 

Fees & Revenues

No, unlike impact fees, TBD revenues do not have to be spent in a specified time frame. The governing body must develop a plan that specifies the transportation improvements to be provided or funded by the 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 a regional transportation planning organization plan or state plan.

No. Unlike the Washington State Parks donation, the Transportation Benefit District Fee is mandatory for all vehicles subject to the fee under RCW 82.80.140, and renewing their tabs in the Olympia City Limits.

Yes. The fee can only be waived for a qualifying veteran exemption as indicated on the Department of Licensing vehicle record.

If you have moved outside of the Olympia City limits and are being charged the Transportation Benefit District Fee, chances are that your vehicle is still registered with an Olympia address. If you complete a change of address form, available online at the Department of Licensing (DOL) or in person with a DOL agent, you will be given a new location code. Your fee for tab renewal will then be assessed based on your new location code.

The law requires TBDs to provide a credit for vehicle fees previously imposed by a TBD. For example, if Olympia was first to create a TBD to impose a $40 vehicle fee and subsequently the county creates a countywide TBD imposing a $20 vehicle fee, the county TBD must provide a $20 credit against its fee for vehicles registered in Olympia. As a result, no fee would be collected by the county TBD from vehicles registered in Olympia.

 

Other

Revenue rates, once imposed, may not be increased, unless authorized by voter approval. 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 any debt service.

For fees related to the Department of Licensing (DOL) (examples: weight based fee, license plate replacement fee, reflective coating fee, etc.), please contact DOL's Vehicle Customer Service Center at 360.902.3770.

For the $5 voluntary donation related to Washington State Parks, please contact the Washington State Park Headquarters at 360.902.8844.

You can renew your tabs online. You will need your license plate number, each registered owner's driver license number, and a major credit card.

You can also renew your tabs in person at any vehicle licensing office.