Port Angeles board sends sales tax to Aug. 1 referendum

PORT ANGELES — The Transportation Benefit District board, which consists of Port Angeles City Council members, unanimously approved putting an Aug. 1 primary ballot measure before voters to seek approval of a 0.2-percent retail sales tax increase to fund street projects.

If approved, it would add 2 cents to every $10 spent on taxable sales beginning Jan. 1.

It would raise $600,000-$700,000 annually for transportation improvement, Public Works and Utilities Director Craig Fulton said in a memo to the board.

Board members, who met Tuesday before they changed roles at 6 p.m. for the council meeting, selected Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd as chairwoman and council member Michael Merideth as vice chairman.

City Manager Dan McKeen said at the meeting that the intention was to use the revenue to add to, not replace or supplant, existing funding for street maintenance, repairs and construction.

Fulton said the tax revenue would help pay for projects that the council will decide on later this year.

Council members Sissi Bruch noted that the city’s streets and alleys are in poor repair.

The sales tax revenues “will not cure all of our woes,” council member Lee Whetham added.

In suggesting the best projects to fund, “what the staff needs to do is basically have a dartboard,” he said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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