Port Angeles council to put transportation tax on August ballot

PORT ANGELES — A transportation benefit district was created Tuesday by the Port Angeles City Council in preparation for an Aug. 1 ballot question on funding it with a .2 percent retail sales tax increase.

The sale tax proceeds would pay for city street maintenance and repairs on the city’s 120 miles of roads and 40 miles of alleys.

Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday night unanimously voted for the district, the board of which is the City Council.

If voters approve the hike in the Aug. 1 primary election — the ballot measure must still be written — the increase would be imposed beginning Jan. 1, 2018 and end in 2028 years unless voters renew it.

While the tax would affect anyone who buys retail goods in the city limits, council members focused on the impact of visitors who use city streets.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for citizens of Port Angeles who have had this burden on our shoulders,” Mayor Patrick Downie said after a 20-minute public works presentation, public hearing and brief discussion by the City Council.

“This will enable literally millions of people to help us do what we need to do.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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