Vancouver’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD) was formed in 2015 as part of a long-term strategy to improve the City’s street system. The TBD is funded by a $40 local vehicle license fee.
In 2019, voters approved Initiative 976, which eliminated the TBD’s local license fees. This resulted in a variety of government agencies and public transit organizations filing a lawsuit to overturn I-976, arguing it violated the state Constitution.
While the case was being litigated, the state Department of Licensing continued to collect vehicle license fees in 2020. The City of Vancouver held these funds in a separate account during this time in the event they would need to be refunded. In late 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court overturned I-976, restoring Vancouver’s TBD funding.
Total revenue collected in 2020
Due to the I-976 lawsuit, none of the revenue collected in 2020 was spent. However, $2 million from fees collected in previous years was allocated to the upcoming construction of the City’s S.E. 1st Street Improvement Project in 2020.
In keeping with the Vancouver City Council/TBD Board pay-as-you-go financial policy, all unspent TBD revenues are being carried forward to fund transportation projects in 2021 and beyond.