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Proposed car tab fee gets initial approval

Bainbridge council members have given the first green light to a new  car tab fee that would raise money to repair roads on the island, such as Valley Road, above.  - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review
Bainbridge council members have given the first green light to a new car tab fee that would raise money to repair roads on the island, such as Valley Road, above.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

The Bainbridge Island City Council gave its initial thumbs up to slap a new $20 car tab license fee on all island vehicles Wednesday.

The final approval on the proposal could be less than two weeks away.

An ordinance to form a transportation benefit district that would collect the fee when cars are registered was given an initial and unanimous approval at the council’s Aug. 8 meeting.

A public hearing for the proposed transportation benefit district has been scheduled for Aug. 22. The council is expected to take a final vote on creating the new taxing district and car tab fee at that time.

If the council approves the benefit district by the end of August, islanders could see a $20 fee imposed on their vehicles as soon as February 2013.

The purpose of the district is to raise money to pay for road repairs and other transportation projects.

The city estimates that the fee could produce approximately $330,686 each year.

The estimate is based on the more than 18,000 vehicles registered on Bainbridge Island. The state Department of Licensing would take a 1-percent cut of the revenues for processing the fee.

The ordinance proposes that the district be formed with the city council acting as its board. The city’s director of finance would step in as the district’s treasurer.

The idea of forming a transportation benefit district has been flirted with before by previous councils, though Councilwoman Anne Blair has spearheaded the recent movement on the issue.

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