When the City of Lake Stevens surveyed residents about their sidewalks, streets, and pathways, over 900 people took part. Residents ranked the thoroughfares in order of priority for upgrades to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion. Capital projects like these are expensive, but current costs of materials and construction mean that municipal governments must think creatively and proactively.
The survey asked residents about forming and funding a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) with a small sales tax increase. Sales tax would apply to both residents and visitors to the city, and both groups would reap the benefits of improved safety, well-maintained roads, and better traffic flow.
Almost 61% of respondents supported the idea of a voter-approved sales tax option in order to fund a TBD for two reasons. First, visitors to Lake Stevens for shopping, dining, and recreation also would contribute to maintaining city streets and sidewalks they use. Second, revenue from the TBD can be used as matching funds to leverage millions in state and federal grants.
The next step is for the City Council to discuss a resolution to place a 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) sales tax increase ($0.20 on a $100 purchase) to fund the TBD on the November 8, 2022 General Election ballot. The public is invited and welcome to attend the meetings where the resolution will be discussed.
A work session on the issue is scheduled for July 5, and Council will vote on the resolution at its July 12 meeting. Both meetings are at 6:00 p.m. and can be accessed through the City’s website at https://www.lakestevenswa.gov/319/CITY-COUNCIL.