In 2015, the City of Port Orchard commenced with the Transportation Plan Element update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. As a function of that activity, the project list within the City’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) was amended for project years 2016-2036. Subsequent to that activity, the Port Orchard City Council chose to address transportation funding need by looking into innovative ways of funding transportation shortfalls, such as establishing a Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) or by the formation of a Transportation Benefit District (TBD), as allowed under Chapter 36.73 RCW.
The geographical boundaries of the TBD are comprised of the corporate limits of the City as they currently exist or as they may exist following future annexations. The governing board of the Port Orchard Transportation Benefit District is the Port Orchard City Council. The Board shall develop a material change policy to address major plan changes that affect project delivery or the ability to finance the plan, pursuant to the requirements set forth in RCW 36.73.160(1). The policy must at least address material changes to cost, scope and schedule, the level of change that will require governing body involvement and how the governing body will address those changes. At a minimum, if the District funding participation in a transportation improvement exceeds its original cost by more than twenty percent (20%) as identified in the District’s original plan, a public hearing shall be held to solicit public comment regarding how the cost change should be resolved.
The District, by a majority vote of its governing board, may authorize a motor vehicle license fee of up to twenty dollars as provided in RCW 82.80.140 for the purposes set forth in this chapter and as may be subsequently authorized according to law. The District may impose additional taxes, fees or charges authorized by RCW 36.73.040 or ad valorem property taxes authorized by RCW 36.73.060, only if approved by District voters pursuant to RCW 36.73.065. The District shall have all powers and functions provided by chapter 36.73 RCW to fulfill the functions of the District, including the power to issue general obligation bonds and revenue bonds as provided in RCW 36.73.070, or form a local improvement district as provided in RCW 36.73.080.
The funds generated by the Transportation Benefit District may be used for transportation improvements that preserve, maintain, operate, construct and reconstruct the existing transportation infrastructure of the City, consistent with chapter 36.73 RCW, as it now exists or is hereafter amended. In addition to the foregoing, the funds generated may be used for any purpose allowed by law, including to operate the District and to make transportation improvements that are consistent with state, regional and local transportation plans and necessitated by existing or reasonably foreseeable congestion levels, pursuant to chapter 36.73 RCW. The District shall select to the extent practicable projects for funding that reduce the risk of transportation facility failure and improve safety, decrease travel time, increase daily and peak period trip capacity, improve modal connectivity, provide for economic development, improve accessibility for persons with special transportation needs, and preserve and maintain optimal performance of the infrastructure over time to avoid expensive infrastructure construction and replacement in the future.
All funds raised through the District shall be expended only for such construction, reconstruction, preservation, maintenance and operation in accordance with the provisions of chapter 36.73 RCW as it now exists or is hereafter amended. The funds expended by the District shall preserve, maintain, operate and improve the City’s investments in the transportation infrastructure, reduce the risk of transportation facility failure, improve safety, continue the cost effectiveness of the City’s infrastructure investments, provide for economic development and continue the optimal performance of the transportation system.
Additional transportation improvement projects may be funded only after compliance with the provisions of RCW 36.73.050(2)(b) following notice, public hearing and enactment of an authorizing ordinance.