EDITORS NOTE: The total amount of sales tax charged in Port Angeles has been corrected.
PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council has given final approval to a 0.1 percent sales tax increase for the city’s Transportation Benefit District.
The tax increase, which will come into effect Jan. 1, will raise the city’s retail sales tax to 8.9 percent.
It is estimated to raise $509,100 to address growing transportation improvement needs and help the city pursue additional state and federal grants, which often require a local matching amount. It was estimated to cost an extra $18.90 per household annually, while a property tax to collect the same amount would cost a household $51 a year.
The council discussed the ordinance on Sept. 5 before giving it final approval on Tuesday.
Mike Healy, director of Public Works and Utilities, has told the council that the city’s capital facilities plan (CFP) contains about $180 million in improvements that are directly related to transportation, but there were many more transportation-related projects that didn’t fall under the CFP that also need funding.
“Over the past year, the city council has explored various revenue-generating options,” city officials said in press release issued Thursday. “Ultimately, the TBD tax increase was chosen to ensure that the responsibility for funding is not placed on Port Angeles residents and business owners alone.
“Through this option, visitors will also contribute toward the maintenance of the local streets and roadways utilized during their stay,” the release said.
Voters approved a 0.2 percent sales tax increase, the maximum allowed, in August 2017 to fund the transportation benefit district. The boundaries match that of the city.
The money became available in 2019 and was estimated to raise $700,000 annually. The district will continue until 2028 unless voters renew it.
The money pays for repairs and maintenance on the city’s 120 miles of streets and 40 miles of alleys. The district’s most notable project has been the reconstruction of a 0.6-mile stretch of West 10th Street between South N and I streets on the city’s west side.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Paula Hunt contributed to this story.