Transportation Benefit Fund

Please note: On December 31, 2015, the Bainbridge Island Transportation Benefit District (TBD) was dissolved and assumed by the City of Bainbridge Island as a fund of the City. For additional detail on this transaction see the accompanying notes to this financial statement (PDF) and Ordinance 2015-31 (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the Vehicle License Fee?

The vehicle license fee was increased from $20 to $30 with the approval of Resolution No. 2019-08 in January 2019. The City has a rebate program for income-qualified residents. See Transportation Benefit Fund Rebate Program to find out if you are eligible and how to apply (Resolution No. 2019-23).

How much has been collected to date?

We typically collect approximately $400,000 annually. As of the end of 2018 there was a fund balance of $810,000.

What has the Vehicle License Fee revenue been spent on in the past?

In 2017 and 2018 approximately $400,000 per year was transferred to the Streets fund and spent on preservation of the roads network.

What will future funds be spent on?

The vehicle license fee was increased from $20 to $30 with the approval of Resolution No. 2019-08. Resolution No. 2019-07 and Resolution No. 2019-06 were approved at the same time and directed spending two-thirds of the annual revenue on preservation of the annual roads network and one-third on working with Kitsap Transit and on eligible traffic calming and safety projects.

What is the Bainbridge Island Transportation Benefit District (TBD)?

In 1987, the state Legislature created Transportation Benefit Districts (TBDs) as an option for local governments to fund transportation improvements (Chapter 36.73). In 2005 and 2007, the Legislature amended the TBD statute to expand its uses and revenue authority. The expansion included the ability to authorize a $20 annual vehicle license fee (VLF) with up to an additional $80 of VLF if approved by voters within the district.

The state Legislature provided local governments with these tools because of inflationary erosion of the local share of gas tax, and because the elimination of other traditional sources of funding for local transportation needs per passage of a series of statewide ballot initiatives over the last 12 years.

Who runs the TBD?

Initially, the Bainbridge Island TBD was governed by a Board, comprised of Bainbridge Island City Councilmembers acting ex officio and independently of their elected position, as required by the authorizing state law. On December 31, 2015, the Bainbridge Island TBD was dissolved. The City of Bainbridge Island maintains the TBD as a fund of the City.

When and how did the City Council establish a TBD?

The Bainbridge Island City Council approved Ordinance Number 2012-14 on August 22, 2012. The ordinance created a new chapter in the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code: Chapter 12.29, Transportation Benefit District (now repealed). The new Code chapter established the TBD's governing board, purpose and authority of the district, use of funds, and dissolution of the district.

Enabling Legislation