$20 car tab tax could be decided Monday night

Earlier this week the Lynnwood City Council approved new utility taxes to help ward off a budget shortfall of up to $4.8 million. Now it appears council members also will approve a new vehicle registration tax.

Monday night the City Council will take public comment on the creation of a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) that would add a $20 fee to vehicle registrations. The Council would then vote on the matter. Council President Ted Hikel told me he expects to vote yes and thinks other council members will do the same.

“This would allow us to make transportation improvements without taking money out of the general fund,” Hikel told me.

The Legislature passed a law in 2007 that allows local governments to create TBDs to fund transportation projects. If Snohomish County creates a countywide TBD before Lynnwood creates a citywide TBD, Lynnwood would be prohibited from collecting the $20 fee. (In other words, no double-dipping.)

“If we don’t do it for our city it’s liable that other jurisdictions will take it away,” Hikel said.

Cities can approve a new vehicle registration tax up to $20 without a public vote. So far six cites have done that, including Edmonds, Lake Forest Park and Shoreline.

If approved, the new tax is expected to bring in about $655,000 per year.

  1. I'm ok with this; I'd be glad to know my money goes to improvements that benefit my city.

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