Transportation Needs and Resources
Many needs; multiple funding sources
Can we get there from here?
Implementing the county Transportation Plan's long-term vision for a well-connected countywide transportation system for all users will be expensive and will take many years. We also need to maintain the system we already have. Where will the money come from?
Fitting the Pieces Together
Just as a jigsaw puzzle is made of many interconnected pieces, the planning, construction and ongoing maintenance of the transportation system in our county relies on a combination of funding sources. Without any one of these funding pieces, the overall system cannot be sustained. Transportation system needs in Washington County fall into three broad categories. Each category relies on different funding sources. Local governments work together closely to make sure the pieces fit together. Click the links below for more information.
Major Safety and Congestion Improvements
- Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP)
Local property taxes + local input = countywide improvements! MSTIP funds are collected through property taxes and can be used directly or leveraged with other local, state or federal funds to provide even more benefit across the county.
Keeping up with Growth
- 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.
- North Bethany
In addition to the TDT, new development in North Bethany will pay a supplemental Transportation System Development Charge (TSDC), which will help fund construction of key roads within North Bethany. North Bethany property owners will also be members of a unique County Service District (CSD), whose property tax assessment of up to $1.25 per $1,000 assessed valuation will be used to help fund construction of key roads in North Bethany.
Maintaining Existing Roads and Bridges
- Gas Taxes and User 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.
- Proposed Countywide Vehicle Registration Fee for Road Maintenance (rejected by voters November 2014)
Our traditional funding sources for maintaining major roads are not keeping up with escalating costs and the needs of an expanding and increasingly complex road system. We need to act soon to avoid a maintenance crisis. The Board of County Commissioners put a proposed Vehicle Registration Fee for road maintenance before the voters in November 2014. It was rejected by voters, 54 to 46 percent.
- 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.
Other Funding Sources
Washington County also receives some limited state and federal funding. These funds are allocated on a competitive basis, generally through Metro, our elected regional government.
How Local Governments Work Together
Building and maintaining the countywide transportation network—and making sure your tax dollars are used wisely—is a joint effort. We work closely with our local and regional partners to make key decisions.
Within Washington County, elected officials from the county and our cities meet regularly as the Washington County Coordinating Committee (WCCC) to address local and regional transportation issues. The WCCC makes transportation policy recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.
At the regional level, local elected officials, along with state and transit agency officials meet regularly as the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT). JPACT makes regional transportation policy and funding recommendations to the Metro Council.