Sequim seeks tax for streets

In July, the Sequim City Council placed a Transportation Benefit District initiative on the ballot. It provides for revenues to be used exclusively for approved city transportation projects. A two-tenths of 1 percent increase in city sales-and-use taxes would be levied on certain items and services; the cost of a $10 purchase would increase by 2 cents. Necessities such as groceries, prescriptions, gasoline, rent, insurance and mortgages would not be affected.

Initially, the TBD tax would yield roughly $600,000 annually for city transportation needs. More than two-thirds of this revenue would not come from the pockets of city residents, backers say. It would be paid by tourists and neighbors who live outside the city — folks who shop here and use Sequim’s streets and sidewalks.

Previously the city had access to state and federal transportation funds but Sequim has grown past the magic small-city population number (5,000) and now must compete with large cities like Seattle.

Some federal stimulus money should become available, but often these monies require local matching funds. Today, there are virtually no matching funds available in Sequim.

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