By Ann McCreary
A proposition asking Twisp voters to authorize a new sales tax of .2 percent to fund a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) appears on the Aug. 2 primary election ballot.
The district is a special taxing entity created by the Twisp Council, as authorized by state law, to pay for street maintenance and improvements within Twisp.
The new sales tax would generate an estimated $45,250 for the Transportation Benefit District, based on average sales from 2013-2015, according to Twisp officials.
The sales tax would equal 2 cents per $10, and would not apply to purchases of groceries, prescriptions, gasoline, rent or mortgage, which are exempted by state law.
If approved by voters, revenue from the sales tax would start being collected in 2017, and the district would begin receiving revenues in spring of 2017.
The sales tax would generate revenue for transportation-related projects from residents as well as non-residents and tourists who shop and dine in Twisp. Revenue will be tracked and audited through the town budget process.
The transportation district boundaries are the same as the town boundaries, and the Town Council serves as the governing board.
The council held public meetings and a public hearing earlier this year to discuss formation of the transportation district.
Among other things, money raised through the sales tax would be allocated for emergency road repairs and sidewalk and storm drain repairs. The money would also be used as reserve funds for equipment and vehicles used in street maintenance, and to provide matching money for state and federal transportation grants, according to town officials.
Twisp public works officials have prepared a list of future projects that would be funded through the transportation district, such as repairing potholes, sealing cracks, pavement striping, and chip sealing sections of numerous streets in town that have gravel surfaces.