Chapter 36.120 RCW

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT DISTRICTS

Sections

36.120.010Findings.
36.120.020Definitions.
36.120.030Planning committeeFormation.
36.120.040Planning committeeDuties.
36.120.045Planning committeeState route No. 520 improvements.
36.120.050Planning committeeTaxes, fees, and tolls.
36.120.060Project selectionPerformance criteria.
36.120.070Submission of ballot propositions to the voters.
36.120.080FormationCertification.
36.120.090Governing boardComposition.
36.120.100Governing boardOrganization.
36.120.110Governing boardPowers and dutiesIntent.
36.120.120Treasurer.
36.120.130IndebtednessBondsLimitation.
36.120.140Transportation project or plan modificationAccountability.
36.120.150Department of transportationRole.
36.120.160Ownership of improvements.
36.120.170Dissolution of district.
36.120.180FindingsRegional modelsGrants.
36.120.190Joint ballot measure.
36.120.200Regional transportation investment district account.
36.120.210Advisory ballot for Alaskan Way viaduct improvementsPreferred alternative for Alaskan Way viaduct and Seattle Seawall improvements.


Findings.

The legislature finds that:
(1) The capacity of many of Washington state's transportation facilities have failed to keep up with the state's growth, particularly in major urban regions;
(2) The state cannot by itself fund, in a timely way, many of the major capacity and other improvements required on highways of statewide significance in the state's largest urbanized area;
(3) Providing a transportation system that provides efficient mobility for persons and freight requires a shared partnership and responsibility between the state, local, and regional governments and the private sector; and
(4) Timely construction and development of significant transportation improvement projects can best be achieved through enhanced funding options for governments at the county and regional levels, using already existing tax authority to address roadway and multimodal needs and new authority for regions to address critical transportation projects of statewide significance.



Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Board" means the governing body of a regional transportation investment district.
(2) "Department" means the Washington state department of transportation.
(3) "Highway of statewide significance" means an existing or proposed state route or federal interstate designated as a highway of statewide significance by the transportation commission, the department, or the legislature.
(4) "Lead agency" means a public agency that by law can plan, design, and build a transportation project and has been so designated by the district.
(5) "Regional transportation investment district" or "district" means a municipal corporation that has been created by county legislative authorities and a vote of the people under this chapter to implement a regional transportation investment plan.
(6) "Regional transportation investment district planning committee" or "planning committee" means the advisory committee created under RCW 36.120.030 to create and propose to county legislative authorities a regional transportation investment plan to develop, finance, and construct transportation projects.
(7) "Regional transportation investment plan" or "plan" means a plan to develop, construct, and finance a transportation project or projects.
(8) "Transportation project" means:
(a) A capital improvement or improvements to a highway that has been designated, in whole or in part, as a highway of statewide significance, including an extension, that:
(i) Adds a lane or new lanes to an existing state or federal highway; or
(ii) Repairs or replaces a lane or lanes damaged by an event declared an emergency by the governor before January 1, 2002.
(b) A capital improvement or improvements to all or a portion of a highway of statewide significance, including an extension, and may include the following associated multimodal capital improvements:
(i) Approaches to highways of statewide significance;
(ii) High occupancy vehicle lanes;
(iii) Flyover ramps;
(iv) Park and ride lots;
(v) Bus pullouts;
(vi) Vans for vanpools;
(vii) Buses; and
(viii) Signalization, ramp metering, and other transportation system management improvements.
(c) A capital improvement or improvements to all or a portion of a city street, county road, or existing highway or the creation of a new highway that intersects with a highway of statewide significance, if all of the following conditions are met:
(i) The project is included in a plan that makes highway improvement projects that add capacity to a highway or highways of statewide significance;
(ii) The secretary of transportation determines that the project would better relieve traffic congestion than investing that same money in adding capacity to a highway of statewide significance;
(iii) Matching money equal to fifteen percent of the total cost of the project is provided by local entities, including but not limited to a metropolitan planning organization, county, city, port, or private entity in which a county participating in a plan is located. Local entities may use federal grants to meet this matching requirement;
(iv) In no case may the cumulative regional transportation investment district contribution to all projects constructed under this subsection (8)(c) exceed ten percent of the revenues generated by the district;
(v) In no case may the cumulative regional transportation investment district contribution to all projects constructed under this subsection (8)(c) exceed one billion dollars; and
(vi) The specific projects are included within the plan and submitted as part of the plan to a vote of the people.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, operations, preservation, and maintenance are excluded from this definition and may not be included in a regional transportation investment plan. However, operations, preservation, and maintenance of tolled facilities where toll revenues have been pledged for the payment of contracts is expressly authorized and may be included in a regional transportation investment plan. The authority under this subsection includes operational expenses for toll enforcement.
(e) Operational expenses for traffic mitigation provided solely for transportation project construction mitigation directly related to specific projects as outlined in the plan shall be included in a regional transportation investment plan. Construction mitigation strategies may include, but are not limited to, funding for increased transit service hours, trip reduction incentives, nonmotorized mode support, and ridematching services. Prior to construction of any project, corridor mitigation plans must be developed in conjunction with the department and partner transit agencies, including local transit agencies and the regional transit authority serving the counties, with the following goals: (i) Reducing drive alone trips in affected corridors; (ii) reducing delay per person and delay per unit of goods in affected corridors; and (iii) improving levels of service that improve system performance for all transportation users in affected corridors. The regional transportation commission established under section 2, chapter 311, Laws of 2006, or a successor regional governing entity, shall review transit investments according to these performance measures to determine whether to continue funding for successful and effective operations after the construction period is completed.
(9) "Weighted vote" means a vote that reflects the population each board or planning committee member represents relative to the population represented by the total membership of the board or planning committee. Population will be determined using the federal 2000 census or subsequent federal census data.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2006 c 311 § 4 and by 2006 c 334 § 13, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
Effective date2006 c 334: See note following RCW 47.01.051.
Findings2006 c 311: "The legislature finds that effective transportation planning in urbanized regions requires stronger and clearer lines of responsibility and accountability.
The legislature further finds that integrated, multimodal transportation planning will help reduce transportation congestion and improve safety, and that streamlined decision making will help reduce political congestion.
The legislature further finds that coordinated planning of, investment in, and operation of transportation systems will have significant benefit to the citizens of Washington, and that it is the will of the people to fund regional transportation solutions, including improving transit service in urbanized areas and among existing, fragmented transit agencies in the region. Although equity considerations must be respected, transportation problems are broader and deeper than the sum of geographic subareas.
It is therefore the policy of the state of Washington to create a regional transportation commission to develop a proposal for a regional transportation governing entity more directly accountable to the public, and to develop a comprehensive regional transportation finance plan for the citizens of the Puget Sound metropolitan region." [ 2006 c 311 § 1.]



Planning committeeFormation.

Regional transportation investment district planning committees are advisory entities that are created, convened, and empowered as follows:
(1) A county with a population over one million five hundred thousand persons and any adjoining counties with a population over five hundred thousand persons may create a regional transportation investment district and shall convene a regional transportation investment district planning committee.
(a) The boundaries of the district should include at least the contiguous areas within the regional transit authority serving the counties. The boundaries must be proposed by the planning committee and approved by the county legislative authorities by ordinance before or in conjunction with approval of a regional transportation investment plan. Boundaries must follow complete parcels of land. However, any portion of a county that is located on a peninsula shall be exempt from a regional transportation investment district in which more than one county is included if (i) the portion of the county located on the peninsula is connected to the other portion of the county by a bridge improved under chapter 47.46 RCW, and (ii) the county has a national park and a population of more than five hundred thousand persons, but less than one million five hundred thousand persons.
(b) After voters within the district boundaries have approved a plan under RCW 36.120.070, elections to add areas to the district boundaries may be called by a resolution of the board, after consultation with the regional transportation planning organization and affected transit agencies and with the concurrence of the legislative authority of the city or town if the area is incorporated or with the concurrence of the county legislative authority if the area is unincorporated. The election may include a single ballot measure providing annexation to the district, approval of the plan, and approval of revenue sources necessary to finance the plan. The electorate are the voters voting within the proposed area to be annexed. A simple majority of the persons voting on the single ballot measure is required for approval of the measure.
(2) The members of the legislative authorities participating in planning under this chapter shall serve as the district planning committee. Members of the planning committee receive no compensation, but may be reimbursed for travel and incidental expenses as the planning committee deems appropriate.
The secretary of transportation, or the appropriate regional administrator of the department, as named by the secretary, shall serve on the committee as a nonvoting member.
(3) A regional transportation investment district planning committee may be entitled to state funding, as appropriated by the legislature, for start-up funding to pay for salaries, expenses, overhead, supplies, and similar expenses ordinarily and necessarily incurred in selecting transportation projects and funding for those transportation projects under this chapter. Upon creation of a regional transportation investment district, the district shall within one year reimburse the state for any sums advanced for these start-up costs from the state.
(4) The planning committee shall conduct its affairs and formulate a regional transportation investment plan as provided under RCW 36.120.040, except that it shall elect an executive board of seven members to discharge the duties of the planning committee and formulate a regional transportation investment plan, subject to the approval of the full committee.
(5) At its first meeting, a regional transportation investment district planning committee may elect officers and provide for the adoption of rules and other operating procedures.
(6) Governance of and decisions by a regional transportation investment district planning committee must be by a sixty-percent weighted majority vote of the total membership.
(7) The planning committee may dissolve itself at any time by a two-thirds weighted majority vote of the total membership of the planning committee.
(8) If a multicounty regional transportation investment district is not formed by December 1, 2007, through approval by the voters voting on a regional transportation investment plan, then the authority under this chapter to create a district, and to fund and construct transportation projects, shall be available to each of the eligible counties described in subsection (1) of this section on an individual and independent basis.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Planning committeeDuties.

(1) A regional transportation investment district planning committee shall adopt a regional transportation investment plan providing for the development, construction, and financing of transportation projects. The planning committee may consider the following factors in formulating its plan:
(a) Land use planning criteria;
(b) The input of cities located within a participating county; and
(c) The input of regional transportation planning organizations of which a participating county is a member. A regional transportation planning organization in which a participating county is located shall review its adopted regional transportation plan and submit, for the planning committee's consideration, its list of transportation improvement priorities.
(2) The planning committee may coordinate its activities with the department, which shall provide services, data, and personnel to assist in this planning as desired by the planning committee. In addition, the planning committee may coordinate its activities with affected cities, towns, and other local governments, including any regional transit authority existing within the participating counties' boundaries, that engage in transportation planning.
(3) The planning committee shall:
(a) Conduct public meetings that are needed to assure active public participation in the development of the plan;
(b) Adopt a plan proposing the:
(i) Creation of a regional transportation investment district, including district boundaries; and
(ii) Construction of transportation projects to improve mobility within each county and within the region. Operations, maintenance, and preservation of facilities or systems may not be part of the plan, except for the limited purposes provided under RCW 36.120.020(8); and
(c) Recommend sources of revenue authorized by RCW 36.120.050 and a financing plan to fund selected transportation projects. The overall plan of the district must leverage the district's financial contributions so that the federal, state, local, and other revenue sources continue to fund major congestion relief and transportation capacity improvement projects in each county and the district. A combination of local, state, and federal revenues may be necessary to pay for transportation projects, and the planning committee shall consider all of these revenue sources in developing a plan.
(4) The plan must use tax revenues and related debt for projects that generally benefit a participating county in proportion to the general level of tax revenues generated within that participating county. This equity principle applies to all modifications to the plan, appropriation of contingency funds not identified within the project estimate, and future phases of the plan. Per agreement with a regional transit authority serving the counties participating in a district, the equity principle identified under this subsection may include using the combined district and regional transit authority revenues generated within a participating county to determine the distribution that proportionally benefits the county. For purposes of the transportation subarea equity principle established under this subsection, a district may use the five subareas within a regional transit authority's boundaries as identified in an authority's system plan adopted in May 1996. During implementation of the plan, the board shall retain the flexibility to manage distribution of revenues, debt, and project schedules so that the district may effectively implement the plan. Nothing in this section should be interpreted to prevent the district from pledging district-wide tax revenues for payment of any contract or debt entered into under RCW 36.120.130.
(5) Before adopting the plan, the planning committee, with assistance from the department, shall work with the lead agency to develop accurate cost forecasts for transportation projects. This project costing methodology must be integrated with revenue forecasts in developing the plan and must at a minimum include estimated project costs in constant dollars as well as year of expenditure dollars, the range of project costs reflected by the level of project design, project contingencies, identification of mitigation costs, the range of revenue forecasts, and project and plan cash flow and bond analysis. The plan submitted to the voters must provide cost estimates for each project, including reasonable contingency costs. Plans submitted to the voters must provide that the maximum amount possible of the funds raised will be used to fund projects in the plan, including environmental improvements and mitigation, and that administrative costs be minimized. If actual revenue exceeds actual plan costs, the excess revenues must be used to retire any outstanding debt associated with the plan.
(6) If a county opts not to adopt the plan or participate in the regional transportation investment district, but two or more contiguous counties do choose to continue to participate, then the planning committee may, within ninety days, redefine the regional transportation investment plan and the ballot measure to be submitted to the people to reflect elimination of the county, and submit the redefined plan to the legislative authorities of the remaining counties for their decision as to whether to continue to adopt the redefined plan and participate. This action must be completed within sixty days after receipt of the redefined plan.
(7) Once adopted by the planning committee, the plan must be forwarded to the participating county legislative authorities to initiate the election process under RCW 36.120.070. The planning committee shall at the same time provide notice to each city and town within the district, the governor, the chairs of the transportation committees of the legislature, the secretary of transportation, and each legislator whose legislative district is partially or wholly within the boundaries of the district.
(8) If the ballot measure is not approved, the planning committee may redefine the selected transportation projects, financing plan, and the ballot measure. The county legislative authorities may approve the new plan and ballot measure, and may then submit the revised proposition to the voters at the next election or a special election. If no ballot measure is approved by the voters by the third vote, the planning committee is dissolved.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Planning committeeState route No. 520 improvements.

The planning committee must develop and include in the regional transportation investment plan a funding proposal for the state route number 520 bridge replacement and HOV project that assures full project funding for seismic safety and corridor connectivity on state route number 520 between Interstate 5 and Interstate 405.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Planning committeeTaxes, fees, and tolls.

(1) A regional transportation investment district planning committee may, as part of a regional transportation investment plan, recommend the imposition or authorization of some or all of the following revenue sources, which a regional transportation investment district may impose or authorize upon approval of the voters as provided in this chapter:
(a) A regional sales and use tax, as specified in RCW 82.14.430, of up to 0.1 percent of the selling price, in the case of a sales tax, or value of the article used, in the case of a use tax, upon the occurrence of any taxable event in the regional transportation investment district;
(b) A local option vehicle license fee, as specified under RCW 82.80.100, of up to one hundred dollars per vehicle registered in the district. As used in this subsection, "vehicle" means motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.320. Certain classes of vehicles, as defined under chapter 46.04 RCW, may be exempted from this fee;
(c) A parking tax under RCW 82.80.030;
(d) A local motor vehicle excise tax under RCW 81.100.060;
(e) A local option fuel tax under RCW 82.80.120;
(f) An employer excise tax under RCW 81.100.030; and
(g) Vehicle tolls on new or reconstructed local or regional arterials or state routes within the boundaries of the district, if the following conditions are met:
(i) Consistent with RCW 47.56.820, the vehicle toll must first be authorized by the legislature if the toll is imposed on a state route;
(ii) Consistent with RCW 47.56.850, the vehicle toll, including any change in an existing toll rate, must first be reviewed and approved by the tolling authority designated in RCW 47.56.850 if the toll, or change in toll rate, would have a significant impact, as determined by the tolling authority, on the operation of any state facility;
(iii) The regional transportation investment plan must identify the facilities that may be tolled; and
(iv) Unless otherwise specified by law, the department shall administer the collection of vehicle tolls on designated facilities, and the state transportation commission, or its successor, shall be the tolling authority, and shall act in accordance with RCW 47.56.850.
(2) Taxes, fees, and tolls may not be imposed or authorized without an affirmative vote of the majority of the voters within the boundaries of the district voting on a ballot proposition as set forth in RCW 36.120.070. Revenues from these taxes and fees may be used only to implement the plan as set forth in this chapter. A district may contract with the state department of revenue or other appropriate entities for administration and collection of any of the taxes or fees authorized in this section.
(3) Existing statewide motor vehicle fuel and special fuel taxes, at the distribution rates in effect on January 1, 2001, are not intended to be altered by this chapter.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Project selectionPerformance criteria.

(1) The planning committee shall consider the following criteria for selecting transportation projects to improve corridor performance:
(a) Reduced level of congestion and improved safety;
(b) Improved travel time;
(c) Improved air quality;
(d) Increases in daily and peak period person and vehicle trip capacity;
(e) Reductions in person and vehicle delay;
(f) Improved freight mobility; and
(g) Cost-effectiveness of the investment.
(2) These criteria represent only minimum standards that must be considered in selecting transportation improvement projects. The board shall also consider rules and standards for benchmarks adopted by the transportation commission or its successor.



Submission of ballot propositions to the voters.

(1) Beginning no sooner than the 2007 general election, two or more contiguous county legislative authorities, or a single county legislative authority as provided under RCW 36.120.030(8), upon receipt of the regional transportation investment plan under RCW 36.120.040, may submit to the voters of the proposed district a single ballot proposition that approves formation of the district, approves the regional transportation investment plan, and approves the revenue sources necessary to finance the plan. For a county to participate in the plan, the county legislative authority shall, within ninety days after receiving the plan, adopt an ordinance indicating the county's participation. The planning committee may draft the ballot proposition on behalf of the county legislative authorities, and the county legislative authorities may give notice as required by law for ballot propositions, and perform other duties as required to submit the proposition to the voters of the proposed district for their approval or rejection. Counties may negotiate interlocal agreements necessary to implement the plan. The electorate will be the voters voting within the boundaries of the proposed district. A simple majority of the total persons voting on the single ballot proposition is required for approval.
(2) The participating counties shall submit a regional transportation investment plan at the 2007 general election as part of a single ballot proposition that includes, in conjunction with RCW 81.112.030(10), a plan to support an authority's system and financing plan, or additional implementation phases of the system and financing plan, developed under chapter 81.112 RCW. The regional transportation investment plan shall not be considered approved unless both a majority of the persons voting on the proposition residing in the proposed district vote in favor of the proposition and a majority of the persons voting on the proposition residing within the regional transit authority vote in favor of the proposition.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2007 c 509: "The legislature finds that traffic congestion reduces personal and freight mobility and is detrimental to the economy, air quality, and the quality of life throughout the central Puget Sound area. Effective transportation solutions are essential for the future growth and development of the central Puget Sound area and the welfare of its citizens.
The legislature further finds that investments in both transit and road improvements are necessary to relieve traffic congestion and to improve mobility. The transportation improvements proposed by regional transportation investment districts and regional transit authorities within the central Puget Sound region form integral parts of, and are naturally and necessarily related to, a single regional transportation system. The construction of road and transit projects in a comprehensive and interrelated manner will help reduce transportation congestion, increase road capacity, promote safety, facilitate mobility, and improve the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of Washington.
The legislature further finds that under RCW 81.112.030 and * 36.120.170 regional transportation investment districts and regional transit authorities are required to submit to the voters propositions for their respective transportation plans on the same ballot at the 2007 general election and that the opportunity to propose a single ballot reflecting a comprehensive, systemic, and interrelated approach to regional transportation would further the legislative intent and provide voters with an easier and more efficient method of expressing their will.
It is therefore the policy and intent of the state of Washington that transportation plans required to be submitted for voter approval at the 2007 general election by a regional transportation investment district and a regional transit authority must be submitted to voters in single ballot question seeking approval of both plans." [ 2007 c 509 § 1.]
*Reviser's note: Reference to RCW 36.120.170 appears to be erroneous. The correct reference should be to RCW 36.120.070.
Constitutional challengesExpedited appeals2007 c 509: "Any legal challenges as to the constitutionality of this act must be filed in superior court along with any supporting legal and factual authority within twenty calendar days of May 15, 2007. Notice of a challenge along with any supporting legal and factual authority must be served upon the secretary of state, the attorney general, the district, and the authority. Upon the filing of a challenge, the state, district, and authority have ten calendar days to file any response to the challenge along with any supporting legal and factual authority. The court shall accord priority to hearing the matter and shall, within five calendar days of the filing of the response to the challenge, render its decision and file with the secretary of state a copy of its decision. The decision of the superior court constitutes a final judgment. Any appeal must be filed in the supreme court within ten calendar days after the date of the superior court decision. The supreme court shall issue its ruling on the appeal within thirty days of receipt by the court." [ 2007 c 509 § 5.]
Severability2007 c 509: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2007 c 509 § 6.]
Effective date2007 c 509: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 15, 2007]." [ 2007 c 509 § 7.]
Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



FormationCertification.

If the voters approve the plan, including creation of a regional transportation investment district and imposition of taxes and fees, the district will be declared formed. The county election officials of participating counties shall, within fifteen days of the final certification of the election results, publish a notice in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the district declaring the district formed, and mail copies of the notice to the governor, the secretary of transportation, the executive director of the regional transit authority in which any part of the district is located, and the executive director of the regional transportation planning organization in which any part of the district is located. A party challenging the procedure or the formation of a voter-approved district must file the challenge in writing by serving the prosecuting attorney of the participating counties and the attorney general within thirty days after the final certification of the election. Failure to challenge within that time forever bars further challenge of the district's valid formation.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Governing boardComposition.

(1) The governing board of a district consists of the members of the legislative authority of each member county, acting ex officio and independently. The secretary of transportation or the appropriate regional administrator of the department, as named by the secretary, shall also serve as a nonvoting member of the board. The governing board may elect an executive board of seven members to discharge the duties of the governing board subject to the approval of the full governing board.
(2) A sixty-percent majority of the weighted votes of the total board membership is required to submit to the counties a modified plan under RCW 36.120.140 or any other proposal to be submitted to the voters. The counties may, with majority vote of each county legislative authority, submit a modified plan or proposal to the voters.



Governing boardOrganization.

The board shall adopt rules for the conduct of business. The board shall adopt bylaws to govern district affairs, which may include:
(1) The time and place of regular meetings;
(2) Rules for calling special meetings;
(3) The method of keeping records of proceedings and official acts;
(4) Procedures for the safekeeping and disbursement of funds; and
(5) Any other provisions the board finds necessary to include.



Governing boardPowers and dutiesIntent.

(1) The governing board of the district is responsible for the execution of the voter-approved plan. The board shall:
(a) Impose taxes and fees authorized by district voters;
(b) Enter into agreements with state, local, and regional agencies and departments as necessary to accomplish district purposes and protect the district's investment in transportation projects;
(c) Accept gifts, grants, or other contributions of funds that will support the purposes and programs of the district;
(d) Monitor and audit the progress and execution of transportation projects to protect the investment of the public and annually make public its findings;
(e) Pay for services and enter into leases and contracts, including professional service contracts;
(f) Hire no more than ten employees, including a director or executive officer, a treasurer or financial officer, a project manager or engineer, a project permit coordinator, and clerical staff; and
(g) Coordinate its activities with affected cities, towns, and other local governments, including any regional transit authority existing either partially or entirely within the district area, that engage in transportation planning; and
(h) Exercise other powers and duties as may be reasonable to carry out the purposes of the district.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature that existing staff resources of lead agencies be used in implementing this chapter. A district may coordinate its activities with the department, which shall provide services, data, and personnel to assist as desired by the regional transportation investment district. Lead agencies for transportation projects that are not state facilities shall also provide staff support for the board.
(3) A district may not acquire, hold, or dispose of real property.
(4) Except for the limited purposes provided under RCW 36.120.020(8), a district may not own, operate, or maintain an ongoing facility, road, or transportation system.
(5) A district may accept and expend or use gifts, grants, or donations.
(6) It is the intent of the legislature that administrative and overhead costs of a regional transportation investment district be minimized. For transportation projects costing up to fifty million dollars, administrative and overhead costs may not exceed three percent of the total construction and design project costs per year. For transportation projects costing more than fifty million dollars, administrative and overhead costs may not exceed three percent of the first fifty million dollars in costs, plus an additional one-tenth of one percent of each additional dollar above fifty million. These limitations apply only to the district, and do not limit the administration or expenditures of the department.
(7) A district may use the design-build procedure for transportation projects developed by it. As used in this section "design-build procedure" means a method of contracting under which the district contracts with another party for that party to both design and build the structures, facilities, and other items specified in the contract. The requirements and limitations of RCW 47.20.780 and 47.20.785 do not apply to the transportation projects under this chapter.

NOTES:

Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.



Treasurer.

The regional transportation investment district, by resolution, shall designate a person having experience in financial or fiscal matters as treasurer of the district. The district may designate the treasurer of a county within which the district is located to act as its treasurer. Such a treasurer has all of the powers, responsibilities, and duties the county treasurer has related to investing surplus funds. The district shall require a bond with a surety company authorized to do business in this state in an amount and under the terms and conditions the district, by resolution, from time to time finds will protect the district against loss. The district shall pay the premium on the bond.
In addition to the account established in RCW 36.120.200, the treasurer may establish a special account, into which may be paid district funds. The treasurer may disburse district funds only on warrants issued by the district upon orders or vouchers approved by the district.
If the treasurer of the district is the treasurer of a county, all district funds must be deposited with a county depositary under the same restrictions, contracts, and security as provided for county depositaries. If the treasurer of the district is some other person, all funds must be deposited in a bank or banks authorized to do business in this state qualified for insured deposits under any federal deposit insurance act as the district, by resolution, designates.
The district may provide and require a reasonable bond of any other person handling moneys or securities of the district, but the district shall pay the premium on the bond.



IndebtednessBondsLimitation.

(1)(a) Notwithstanding RCW 39.36.020(1), the district may at any time contract indebtedness or borrow money for district purposes and may issue general obligation bonds or other evidences of indebtedness, secured by the pledge of one or more of the taxes, tolls, charges, or fees authorized to be imposed by the district, in an amount not exceeding, together with any existing indebtedness of the district not authorized by the voters, one and one-half percent of the value of the taxable property within the boundaries of the district.
(b) With the assent of three-fifths of the voters voting at an election, a district may contract indebtedness or borrow money for district purposes and may issue general obligation bonds or other evidences of indebtedness as long as the total indebtedness of the district does not exceed five percent of the value of the taxable property within the district, including indebtedness authorized under (a) of this subsection. The bonds shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW.
(2) The district may at any time issue revenue bonds or other evidences of indebtedness, secured by the pledge of one or more of the revenues authorized to be collected by the district, to provide funds to carry out its authorized functions without submitting the matter to the voters of the district. These obligations shall be issued and sold in accordance with chapter 39.46 RCW.
(3) The district may enter into agreements with the lead agencies or the state of Washington, when authorized by the plan, to pledge taxes or other revenues of the district for the purpose of paying in part or whole principal and interest on bonds issued by the lead agency or the state of Washington. The agreements pledging revenues and taxes shall be binding for their terms, but not to exceed thirty years, and no tax pledged by an agreement may be eliminated or modified if it would impair the pledge made in any agreement.
(4) Once construction of projects in the plan has been completed, revenues collected by the district may only be used for the following purposes: (a) Payment of principal and interest on outstanding indebtedness of the district; (b) to make payments required under a pledging agreement; and (c) to make payments for maintenance and operations of toll facilities as may be required by toll bond covenants.



Transportation project or plan modificationAccountability.

(1) The board may modify the plan to change transportation projects or revenue sources if:
(a) Two or more participating counties adopt a resolution to modify the plan; and
(b) The counties submit to the voters in the district a ballot measure that redefines the scope of the plan, its projects, its schedule, its costs, or the revenue sources. If the voters fail to approve the redefined plan, the district shall continue to work on and complete the plan, and the projects in it, that was originally approved by the voters. If the voters approve the redefined plan, the district shall work on and complete the projects under the redefined plan.
(2) The board may modify the plan to change transportation projects within a participating county if:
(a) A majority of the board approves the change;
(b) The modifications are limited to projects within the county;
(c) The county submits to the voters in the county a ballot measure that redefines:
(i) Projects;
(ii) Scopes of projects; or
(iii) Costs; and
(iv) The financial plan for the county;
(d) The proposed modifications maintain the equity of the plan and does [do] not increase the total level of plan expenditure for the county.
If the voters fail to approve the modified plan, the district shall continue to work on and complete the plan, and the projects in it, that was originally approved by the voters. If the voters approve the redefined plan, the district shall work on and complete the projects under the redefined plan.
(3) If a transportation project cost exceeds its original cost by more than twenty percent as identified in the plan:
(a) The board shall, in coordination with the county legislative authorities, submit to the voters in the district or county a ballot measure that redefines the scope of the transportation project, its schedule, or its costs. If the voters fail to approve the redefined transportation project, the district shall terminate work on that transportation project, except that the district may take reasonable steps to use, preserve, or connect any improvement already constructed. The remainder of any funds that would otherwise have been expended on the terminated transportation project must first be used to retire any outstanding debt attributable to the plan and then may be used to implement the remainder of the plan.
(b) Alternatively, upon adoption of a resolution by two or more participating counties:
(i) The counties shall submit to the voters in the district a ballot measure that redefines the scope of the plan, its transportation projects, its schedule, or its costs. If the voters fail to approve the redefined plan, the district shall terminate work on that plan, except that the district may take reasonable steps to use, preserve, or connect any improvement already constructed. The remainder of any funds must be used to retire any outstanding debt attributable to the plan; or
(ii) The counties may elect to have the district continue the transportation project without submitting an additional ballot proposal to the voters.
(4) To assure accountability to the public for the timely construction of the transportation improvement project or projects within cost projections, the district shall issue a report, at least annually, to the public and copies of the report to newspapers of record in the district. In the report, the district shall indicate the status of transportation project costs, transportation project expenditures, revenues, and construction schedules. The report may also include progress towards meeting the performance criteria provided under this chapter.



Department of transportationRole.

(1) The department shall designate an office or division of dedicated staff and services whose primary responsibility is to coordinate the design, preliminary engineering, permitting, financing, and construction of transportation projects under consideration by a regional transportation investment district planning committee or that are part of a regional transportation investment plan being implemented by a regional transportation investment district.
(2) All of the powers granted the department under Title 47 RCW relating to highway construction may, at the request of a regional transportation investment district, be used to implement a regional transportation investment plan and construct transportation projects.



Ownership of improvements.

Any improvement to a state facility constructed under this chapter becomes and remains the property of this state.



Dissolution of district.

Within thirty days of the completion of the construction of the transportation project or series of projects forming the regional transportation investment plan, the district shall terminate day-to-day operations and exist solely as a limited entity that oversees the collection of revenue and the payment of debt service or financing still in effect, if any. The district shall accordingly adjust downward its employees, administration, and overhead expenses. Any taxes, fees, or tolls imposed under an approved plan terminate when the financing or debt service on the transportation project or series of transportation projects constructed is completed and paid, thirty days from which point the district shall dissolve itself and cease to exist. If there is no debt outstanding, then the district shall dissolve within thirty days from completion of construction of the transportation project or series of transportation projects forming the regional transportation investment plan. Notice of dissolution must be published in newspapers of general circulation within the district at least three times in a period of thirty days. Creditors must file claims for payment of claims due within thirty days of the last published notice or the claim is extinguished.



FindingsRegional modelsGrants.

The legislature finds that regional solutions to the state's transportation needs are of paramount concern. The legislature further recognizes that different areas of the state will need the flexibility to fashion local solutions to their transportation problems, and that regional transportation systems may evolve over time. Areas of the state outside of King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties are eligible for grants from the state of no more than two hundred thousand dollars each to study and develop regional transportation models. Regions receiving these grants shall:
(1) Develop a model that can be used within their region to select, fund, and administer regional transportation solutions;
(2) Adopt a county resolution approving the model proposed;
(3) Form interlocal agreements among counties as appropriate;
(4) Report to the transportation committees in the senate and house of representatives, petitioning the legislature to grant them authority to implement their proposed model.



Joint ballot measure.

At the option of the planning committee, and with the explicit approval of the regional transit authority, the participating counties may choose to impose any remaining high capacity transportation taxes under chapter 81.104 RCW that have not otherwise been used by a regional transit authority and submit to the voters a common ballot measure that creates the district, approves the regional transportation investment plan, implements the taxes, and implements any remaining high capacity transportation taxes within the boundaries of the regional transportation investment district. Collection and expenditures of any high capacity transportation taxes implemented under this section must be determined by agreement between the participating counties or district and the regional transit authority electing to submit high capacity transportation taxes to the voters under a common ballot measure as provided in this section. If the measure fails, all such unused high capacity transportation taxes revert back to and remain with the regional transit authority. A project constructed with this funding is not considered a "transportation project" under RCW 36.120.020.



Regional transportation investment district account.

The regional transportation investment district account is created in the custody of the state treasurer. The purpose of this account is to act as an account into which may be deposited state money, if any, that may be used in conjunction with district money to fund transportation projects. Additionally, the district may deposit funds into this account for disbursement, as appropriate, on transportation projects. Nothing in this section requires any state matching money. All money deposited in the regional transportation investment district account will be used for design, right-of-way acquisition, capital acquisition, and construction, or for the payment of debt service associated with these activities, for regionally funded transportation projects developed under this chapter. Only the district may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW. An appropriation is not required for expenditures from this account.



Advisory ballot for Alaskan Way viaduct improvementsPreferred alternative for Alaskan Way viaduct and Seattle Seawall improvements.

(1) The most populous city, within the three-county region eligible to create a regional transportation investment district under this chapter, shall submit an advisory ballot to the city voters at the 2006 general election regarding voter preference of the tunnel and rebuild alternatives described in the environmental impact statement relative to the Alaskan Way viaduct project. The results of the election shall be advisory only and not binding regarding the final project to be constructed.
(2) In the alternative to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, following the report of the expert review panel's findings and recommendations completed under *RCW 47.01.400(4)(c), the city legislative authority shall hold public hearings on the findings and recommendations. After such time, and by November 1, 2006, the city legislative authority shall adopt by ordinance a preferred alternative for the Alaskan Way viaduct and Seattle Seawall replacement project. The preferred alternative must, at a minimum, be based on a substantial project mitigation plan and a comprehensive cost estimate review using the department's cost estimate validation process.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 47.01.400 was repealed by 2017 3rd sp.s. c 25 § 39.
Findings2006 c 311: See note following RCW 36.120.020.