Voters will be asked to renew sales tax for street repair

By on Thursday, October 7th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – This November, Walla Walla residents will be voting on whether  to approve an extension of the Transportation Benefit District’s 0.2 percent sales tax for another 10-year term.

“That’s one penny for every $5 spent that helps raise funds for repair and reconstruction of city of Walla Walla streets,” Walla Walla Transportation Engineer Monte Puyman explained.

From 2013 to 2020, $5.4 million of TBD funds have been combined with other funding, including grants, to complete over $30 million of street improvements in Walla Walla. Those projects included improvements to portions of Rose Street, Wilbur Avenue, Isaacs Avenue, and Second Avenue.

The TBD that was voted on and passed in 2012 is set to expire in 2022.

“This is not a new tax or a tax increase, just a vote to continue the existing sales tax for streets,” Puyman said. “And because it is a sales tax, everyone shares in the responsibility to pay, including people visiting our city.”

Puyman said TBD projects are prioritized by input from residents, the overall given use of a roadway, and a potential for grant dollars to become part of the project funding.

A resident survey conducted this summer has the top five city streets in need of work as Poplar Street, Howard Street, Third Avenue, Clinton Street, and Main Street.