Transportation Benefit District No. 1 (TBD)

Transportation benefit districts (TBD) are quasi-municipal corporations with independent authority, including the authority to impose certain taxes and fees – either through a vote of the people or City Council action – for transportation purposes. Formation of transportation benefit districts by cities is governed by RCW 35.21.225 and RCW 36.73.

The Bellingham City Council formed Transportation Benefit District No. 1 on July 10, 2010 with Ordinance No. 2010-07-040 to help provide dedicated funding for priority transportation needs within Bellingham. The district's geographic boundaries are consistent with Bellingham city limits. The district is governed by the members of the City Council acting as district board of directors (More information below).

TBD Funding approved by Bellingham voters

Transportation Benefit District No. 1 is funded by a two-tenths of one percent (0.002) sales tax, approved by 58% of Bellingham voters in the November 2010 General Election, to provide dedicated funding for priority transportation needs.  Collection of this sales tax began April 1, 2011 for a term of 10 years. A sales tax increase of two-tenths of one percent (0.002) on $300 of taxable items amounts to 60 cents. The increase is expected to generate up to an estimated $4 million per year to pay or finance costs of transportation improvement projects as outlined in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

During the first 5 years of the TBD (2011-2015), the Council-TBD Board allocated TBD revenue in equal thirds for Arterial Resurfacing, Nonmotorized Improvements, and a contract with WTA to fund Sunday bus service and other supplemental transit routes in Bellingham.  During the second 5 years of the TBD (2016-2020), the City no longer contracted with WTA for supplemental transit service and the TBD revenue was equally split between Arterial Resurfacing and Nonmotorized Improvements.

TBD Annual Reports and Projects 

The Transportation Report on Annual Mobility (TRAM) dedicates an entire chapter to the TBD Annual Report and lists the TBD expenditures and the TBD-funded improvements made each year.

  • 2018 TBD Report – Chapter 6 of Transportation Report on Annual Mobility (TRAM)

Bellingham City Council serves as Board of Directors

Transportation Benefit District No. 1 is governed on behalf of District residents by the elected members of the Bellingham City Council, acting independently as the District Board of Directors. The City Council President serves as the chair of the Board of Directors.  

The Board of Directors follows the same rules and procedures for conducting business as the Bellingham City Council.  By ordinance and interlocal agreement, Transportation Benefit District No. 1 receives various administrative services from the City of Bellingham.     

The City's Transportation Commission is authorized to provide advice to Transportation Benefit District No. 1, per BMC 2.44.

Meetings of the District Board of Directors

The Board of Transportation Benefit District No. 1 meets quarterly, following all Washington Open Public Meetings Act requirements.  Meetings are typically filmed and aired on BTV​.  For more information, contact the Bellingham City Council Office.

Material for Public Hearing November 9, 2015


Interlocal Agreements