Washington County Transportation Funding

Transportation Funding 101

Many of us drive, ride, and walk on Washington County roads nearly every day, without really thinking about them. We probably think even less about how those roads are funded. Washington County maintains about 1,300 miles of rural and urban roads as part of its Transportation System Plan. The funding for the construction, maintenance and improvements of these roads is complex.


Fiscal Year 2020-21 Transportation FundingFunding sources include:

  • Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP): MSTIP funds are collected through property taxes and can be used directly or leveraged with other local, state, or federal funds.
  • State and County gas taxes and fees:  Cities and counties each receive a portion of the 30-cents-per-gallon gas tax, large truck weight-mile fees and vehicle registration fees collected by the state. Within Washington County, an additional one-cent-per-gallon local gas tax is also levied. The County uses its share of these revenues primarily to fund maintenance of our existing major roadways. Visit our Annual Maintenance Plan page for more information on how we use these funds.
  • Transportation Development Tax (TDT): New development pays the TDT when a building permit or occupancy permit is issued for a use that increases demands on the transportation system. TDT revenues are used to fund transportation system capacity improvements throughout the county.
  • County Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF):  People registering vehicles in Washington County through the state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) will be paying a new County fee for renewals and new registrations starting on July 1, 2018.

    The VRF generated $13 million in revenue in FY 2019-20. This revenue is split 60/40 between the County ($7.8 million) and the cities within the County ($5.1 million) as required by state statute. The city allocations are distributed based on population.

    The County has committed to use its share of the funding only for local maintenance to improve the safety and condition of County roads, bridges and culverts.
  • Grant funds: Washington County competes for limited federal, state and regional grant funds for major projects. There a many restrictions on these funds that limit the types of projects that can be funded.
  • Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD): This county service district maintains neighborhood streets and may fund minor safety improvements on roads within our urban unincorporated communities.

Without any one of these funding pieces, the overall system cannot be sustained. For more information on transportation funding, visit Transportation Needs and Resources.