About the Budget

It is important to understand how the City pays for our streets and sidewalks. This budget discussion is very basic, and we encourage you to learn more by reviewing the Biennial Budget and other budget information.

Street Fund

The money to maintain Bothell’s existing streets and sidewalks comes primarily from the City’s Street Fund. Since 1999, this fund has lost multiple revenues (motor vehicle taxes, license fees, and streetlight fees).

Revenue Losses

Annual Street Fund Revenue Losses Amount Equivalent in 2015 Dollars
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax 1999 $376,743 $547,100
Local Vehicle License Fees 2002 $273,863 $363,309
Streetlight Fees 2009 $272,645 $297,313
Total Annual Loss $923,251 $1,207,722
The City has done its best to balance the Street budget by reducing the level of service and by applying General Fund subsidy monies, as these are available. This practice does not provide a sustainable source of revenue for the Street Fund.
Budget 1
Budget 3

Capital Fund

Capital transportation projects and the Annual Overlay and Sidewalk/Walkway program are funded through the Capital Fund. The major sources of revenue are Real Estate Excise Tax (REET), utility user fees, mitigation/impact fees, developer contributions, grants, Public Works Trust Fund Loans, bonds, and proceeds from the sale of property.

Transportation Benefit District (TBD) funding options

The City Council has established a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) in Bothell. The TBD can generate revenue through a sales tax increase or annual vehicle registration fees. Voters must approve an annual vehicle registration fee over $20 per vehicle or any sales tax increase. The City Council can approve an annual vehicle registration fee up to $20 per vehicle without a vote of the public. The Council is considering how to move forward on the issue of funding our street and sidewalk programs.

TBD fees and estimated revenues

TBD Fee Est. Annual Revenue* Note
$20 License Fee $750,000 Non-voted
$40 License Fee $1,500,000 Requires voter approval**
$60 License Fee $2,250,000 Requires voter approval
$80 License Fee $3,000,000 Requires voter approval
$100 License Fee $3,750,000 Requires voter approval
0.2% Sales & Use Tax $2,370,000 Requires voter approval
* Estimates based on preliminary vehicle registration data from the Department of Licensing.
** Legislation passed in 2015 that allows $40 TBD fee that can be implemented without a vote; however, the $20 TBD fee must be in place for two years before it can be increased to $40.