Transportation Benefit District

Nighttime intersection in Olympia

What is a TBD?

A “TBD” or Transportation Benefit District 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 boundaries of the TBD are identical with the City limits.

The Washington State legislature permits local governments to establish a TBD and accompanying funding sources to provide for the preservation, maintenance, and construction of local public ways.

Statutory authority for Transportation Benefit Districts has existed for 20 years. However, until 2007, to establish a TBD required a vote of the people. In 2007, the Association of Washington Cites (AWC) worked with the Legislature to provide some relief to cities and counties for traffic congestion. AWC was successful in amending the law to allow some flexibility.

A City (or County) may now implement up to a $40 per vehicle fee with City Council (or County Commissioner) approval under Chapter 36.73 RCW. The members of the legislative authority proposing to establish the district, in this case the Olympia City Council, make up the TBD Board. Members of the TBD Board are acting ex-officio and independently from City Council.

Olympia's TBD

On behalf of the Olympia TBD, the Washington State Department of Licensing is collecting a $40 fee at the time a registered vehicle is renewed within the City of Olympia. The fee increased to $40 per vehicle beginning with January 2017 renewals per TBD Resolution No. 14.

With the establishment of a TBD, the City can begin to replace the transportation funding that has been lost over the years, and be better able to preserve, maintain or expand the City’s transportation infrastructure into the future.

TBD Projects

TBD fees are used to help pay for pavement management on City arterials and major collectors.

RCW 36.73.020 lays out project selection criteria to be considered:

  • Reduced risk of transportation facility failure and improved safety
  • Improved travel time
  • Improved air quality
  • Increases in daily and peak period trip capacity
  • Improved freight mobility
  • Cost effectiveness of the investment
  • Optimal performance of the system through time
  • Must be in the boundaries of the TBD
  • Other criteria as adopted by the TBD Board

Contact the TBD

Phone: 360.570.3727
Mail: PO Box 1967, Olympia, WA 98507-1967