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TBD Board meets Feb. 24

MARYSVILLE — The city of Marysville will be conducting its next meeting of the Transportation Benefit District’s Board on Monday, Feb. 24, during which the Board is set to hash out its bylaws and procedures, in addition to weighing which projects it might decide to take on, with the support of voters.

City of Marysville Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen explained that the TBD Board’s previous meeting had established that it operates under a separate budget and financing system from the city itself, and promised that the voters would be asked to approve or deny a sales tax increase of 0.2 percent on the April 22 ballot, in order to fund transportation improvements.

“That would basically amount to 20 cents from every $100 that you spend,” Nielsen said. “As time has gone on, Washington state’s transportation revenues have steadily declined, so it’s hard to keep our infrastructure at the level that our citizens would like to see. The city has to maintain the pavement of its streets, so that there are less potholes and bumpy roads.”

This would raise the sales tax rate in Marysville from 8.6 percent to 8.8 percent. Marysville’s tax rate would remain lower than most cities in Snohomish County, which range from 7.7 percent to 9.6 percent.

Washington state has allowed its cities to use Transportation Benefit Districts as a means of shoring up their transportation funds, by allowing the cities to ask voters to approve sales taxes to fund those transportation projects.

“That way, it’s up to the citizens themselves,” Nielsen said. “And whatever sales taxes they approve stay within their own cities. If voters give us the go-ahead, the revenues we collect from them will not go to the county, but will go to benefit Marysville’s roads directly.”

These sales taxes would be paid not just by Marysville residents, but by everyone who shops in Marysville, and uses its streets and services. The ballot measure is projected to generate about $1.6 million per year in revenue, and expire in 10 years.

While this is the ultimate goal, Nielsen hastened to add that the TBD Board is at “the beginning of the beginning” of its process.

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