Resolution on new $20 vehicle fee sent to city's Transportation Benefit District for review

The city of Bainbridge Island could be a mere two weeks away from making a new $20 island vehicle fee a reality.

A draft resolution that will impose the vehicle fee was released by city officials Friday. It was filed with the city clerk on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Islanders could start paying the fee six months after the resolution is passed by the city's new Transportation Benefit District.

The district, whose board is comprised of the city council, will have their first look and discussion on the draft at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.

A public hearing for the resolution is scheduled at the same time.

The resolution aims to impose a $20 fee on Bainbridge vehicles and would be collected by the state's Department of Licensing when a vehicle is registered or renewed. The department will take a 1 percent cut for the service.

If the board is able to approve the resolution later this month, islanders will begin see notices for the fee in their mail for 2013 vehicle registration renewals.

The district will use the revenue raised by the fee to fund transportation projects such as preserving and maintaining island roadways.

The city has had difficulty funding road repairs and maintenance in recent years. There was no funding for roads programs in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The city found $400,000 to throw at its roads in 2011, and $600,000 in 2012.

Estimates from the city's financial department indicate that if the $20 vehicle fee were implemented on 18,000 island vehicles, it could raise an additional $330,000 for road projects.

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