|A proposition to fund transportation improvements in the City of Covington will appear on the November 6 ballot.|
PROPOSITION 1 - TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS
To authorize a 0.2% increase in sales tax to fund transportation improvements in Covington.
Upon passage, City Council has approved the rescinding of the car tab fee.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why is the city asking for this funding?
While Covington continues to grow, the current funding we have for transportation improvements (General Fund subsidies, gas tax and car tab fees) is not keeping up with demand and inflation. We are unable to properly maintain our existing roads and are unable to proceed with improvement projects. If you've driven down roads like 194th Ave SE (pictured above), you can easily see what we mean. Increasing the sales tax rate by .2% and rescinding the $20 car tab fee would allow us to proceed with transportation improvements and spread the cost to everyone using our roads, not just Covington residents.
How much will this cost me and do I have to pay this increase on everything I purchase?
The .2% sales tax increase amounts to .20 cents on $100 of taxable purchases. If you spent $10,000 on taxable purchases in one year, that would cost you $20 in additional sales tax. However, with the car tab fee being rescinded, you will save $20 per registered vehicle. The sales tax increase only applies to taxable items. Groceries, medical services and prescriptions, for example, are exempt from sales tax.
What projects would this funding be used for?
The funding would go solely toward transportation maintenance and improvements in Covington. The specific maintenance projects to be paid for and/or financed with proceeds of the sales and use tax could include the Pavement Management Program (overlays, sealcoats, chip/crack sealing), small capital improvements like ADA routes and pedestrian facilities, and asphalt patching and repairs.
The funds could also be used toward the maintenance of or matching grant funds on projects described in detail within the City's six-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
What is Covington's sales tax rate compared to other cities?
Covington has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the region. With a .2% increase in sales tax, Covington will still remain one of the lowest.
How long will this sales tax increase last?
If passed, the sales tax increase would last for a period not to exceed 10 years.
Where are Covington's current sales tax revenues going?
Only a fraction of Covington's current sales tax revenues actually stay in Covington. Of the current sales tax rate of 8.8%, the State recieves 6.5%, King County recieves 1.17%, and the City retains .93%, which goes into the city's General Fund. The general fund is the city's main operating account that pays for things like police, fire, parks, general administration, court/jail costs, legal, personnel, finance, etc. If passed, revenues from the .2% sales tax increase would go into the city's Street Fund to pay for transportation maintenance and improvements.
Weren't the car tab fees supposed to pay for roads?
The $20 car tab fee imposed on Covington residents does go solely to funding transportation projects. However, the fees only generate about $310,000 annually, which is not enough to fully fund them. With Covington's diversity of retail and medical establishments, thousands of people living outside of Covington use our roads on a daily basis. City Council feels that it would be more fair to rescind the $20 car tab fee and increase the sales tax by .2% which would then be paid by people living outside of Covington who come here for appointments and shopping, not just Covington residents. This sales tax increase could generate around $1,000,000 annually, but it is important to keep in mind that sales tax revenues are driven by the economy, so revenues would fluctuate as the economy does.
How do I vote?
All voting in King County is now done by mail. King County Elections mails voters' pamphlets three weeks prior to the election and they mail ballots 20 days prior to the election. You can also view the voters' pamphlet online when it becomes available. Ballots can be returned by mail or by dropping off at a Ballot Drop Box location.
If you are not yet registered to vote, you can register online with King County Elections.