Four city councilmembers have a new-but-not-new idea for spending $20 in car-tab taxes.
First, the backstory: The city used to charge $80 for the Transportation Benefit District. Then after the last election, that dropped to $20, but the city has authority to add another $20 and is doing so starting in July. In November, three councilmembers including West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed spending the money on bridge maintenance. But instead, a council majority had SDOT come up with a different plan, which only spent 24 percent on bridges; you might recall the community survey about it last month.
Now that plan is going to the council (here are its toplines). Four councilmembers, including the three who originally proposed bridge spending, are bringing back that idea. The four say that while the SDOT plan is fine for this year, starting next year they’d rather use the fee’s $7 million revenue to finance $100 million in bond money, with three-quarters of that going toward bridges. (While the councilmembers’ news release mentions the West Seattle Bridge, spending for that project isn’t specified in their proposed amendment, which you can read here. They instead would direct SDOT to come up with a bridge-spending plan. This will all play out before the Transportation and Utilities Committee starting this Wednesday (agenda here).