Board rejects vehicle license fee

Members considered $10 and $20 tab fees

A proposed vehicle license fee to pay for transportation projects did not move forward in Washougal.

The city’s Transportation Benefit District Board participated in three close votes Monday night, rejecting all three motions.

The TBD board consists of City Council members.

The proposed resolution would have established a license tab fee of $20 to pay for transportation projects that would have been determined at another meeting.

Brent Boger said he was not going to vote for the establishment of the fee, because it amounts to a tax increase and he did not know what it would be used for.

A point of contention was whether the proceeds from the tab fee were going to be used for street maintenance or to minimize debt funding for a 27th Street extension and railroad overpass.

“We could pay for street maintenance with reserves,” Boger said.

Jennifer McDaniel amended the motion by reducing the fee to $10.

Michelle Wagner said she supported the tab fee and referred to a community survey in which respondents indicated they wanted better roads.

Connie Jo Freeman said she wanted the proceeds of a $20 license tab fee to go toward the 27th Street project.

She suggested waiting for the legislature to adopt a state budget and have the TBD board postpone its vote on the establishment of the fee to its next meeting Monday, July 13. Supporters of the 27th Street project are hoping the state budget will include $7.5 million for the extension and overpass.

The motion to postpone action on the original resolution failed 4 to 3, with Boger, McDaniel and Freeman voting for it.

McDaniel’s motion to establish a $10 license tab fee then failed, also 4 to 3, with Boger, Wagner and McDaniel affirming it.

The final vote on the matter would have established a $20 fee. It failed 4 to 3, with Wagner, Greenlee and Joyce Lindsay voting for it.

A $20 tab fee had been projected to raise approximately $222,000 annually.