Tacoma’s Mobility Funding Stakeholder Task Force presented its recommendations to the City Council at their Jan. 17, 2012 study session. The task force recommended a levy lid lift, which will need approval by voters, a general utility bond that could coordinate utility improvements with road improvements and an increase in car tab fees. The recommendations include a ballot measure in August 2012 for the levy lid lift with the second two funding solutions to follow based on the outcome of that vote.
The levy lid lift could raise $72 million over six years, the car tab fees could raise $13.75 million in six years and the general utility bond would raise $60 million, giving staff more than $145 million to improve roads (a fraction of the actual projected need, according to the task force). The council will first have to pass a Transportation Benefit District to go to the voters. The funding mechanisms are recommended to be dedicated specifically to transportation improvements, with an emphasis on maintaining existing transportation programs and designing projects within the Mobility Master Plan and Complete Streets Guidelines.
The Mobility Funding Task Force was formed in September 2011 to find ways to fund our failing roads, sidewalks, trails, bikeways and light rail. The group, made up of citizens from each district and business, mobility and accessibility representatives, met weekly to discuss funding mechanisms for transportation maintenance and improvements throughout the city. The task force has worked hard to understand the extent of the city’s street problems, including failing pavement, potholes, utility needs, and missing and hazardous sidewalks, and research the possible funding mechanisms available to fund transportation in the City of Tacoma.
The task force project page includes information about past meetings and recommendations. Stay tuned for information about the city council’s decisions and a potential ballot measure.