City Council Meeting Agenda | February 2, 2021
Posted on 01/29/2021

The Newcastle City Council is exploring an opportunity that would generate revenue for street and sidewalk improvements in our community. The establishment of a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) would allow the City to collect funds for transportation enhancements through vehicle licensing fees.

State law authorizes cities to form TBDs, which function as independent taxing districts. The most common TBD funding source is vehicle licensing fees. TBDs can establish an initial annual $20 fee per vehicle. They could choose to increase that fee to $40, but only after that fee has been in effect for at least two years. It could go up to $50, but only after the $40 fee has been in place for at least two years. Any fees above $50 would require voter approval. 

City staff estimates a $20 license fee would generate about $185,000. The funds must be used to preserve and maintain transportation infrastructure, improve public safety, and implement projects identified in the City’s Transportation Improvement Program. That would allow the city to invest in new or existing projects to enhance streets and sidewalks. The revenue would also contribute to the maintenance of critical transportation infrastructure, including costs for snow plowing and street sweeping.

For now, the City Council is simply approaching the question of whether or not to form a TBD. That must come before any decision to establish fees or taxes. The City Council indicated they wanted to hear from the community before moving forward, so they’ve scheduled a February 2 public hearing to collect feedback. View the meeting details below for information on how to participate.

To be clear, the matter before the Council is whether or not to establish a TBD. Creation of such a district DOES NOT necessarily impose a fee or tax. It simply gives the City the option to do so. 

The Newcastle City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. for a closed executive session. The public portion of the meeting starts at 6 p.m. To see what the Councilmembers will discuss, view the full meeting agenda packet here.



— Residents can watch and listen to the meeting online by using any web-enabled device to access this link. Zoom will walk you through the setup. If you log-in through the Zoom app, it will ask for your name and email address. If you join the meeting from your browser, you will only be asked to submit your name. Passcode is 914247.



— You can also join the meeting by telephone. Call 1-253-215-8782 and input the Meeting ID 860 2965 8853 to listen. At that time, you will be prompted to enter a unique participant ID. This will not apply to the general public, so press # to skip. 



— Persons wishing to comment during the meeting should contact the City Clerk at [email protected] by 4 p.m. Tuesday, to register to speak and receive further instructions. Participants will be placed on mute until any public comment periods, at which point those who have signed up will be given a chance to speak.

— You can also submit your comments to the City Council ahead of time in writing. Email your remarks to [email protected] by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

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