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Ferndale City Council to ask voters to approve a 10-year extension on sales tax for roads

Ferndale City Hall (2019). File photo - Whatcom News
Ferndale City Hall (2019). File photo – Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — Councilmembers voted unanimously during this week’s regular Ferndale City Council meeting to ask voters to approve extending a sales tax that generates monies earmarked for “transportation projects.”

The additional 0.2% sales tax imposed at retail businesses within the city limits was the result of the formation of Ferndale’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD) by voter approval during the 2011 General Election. The TBD requires renewal via voter approval every 10 years.

During the June 7th meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution authorizing putting 10-year renewal of the TBD Sales Tax on the November 2nd ballot for voter consideration.

City officials said the sales tax initially generated about $300,000 per year and, as sales tax revenue has grown over the years, this amount increased to over $640,000 in 2020. According to a staff report to the City Council, the City has utilized TBD revenues for the required matching funds with state and federal funded programs. Projects funded range from full road reconstruction to installing crosswalks with electronic pedestrian safety alert systems.

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City of Ferndale officials are now asking for 6 volunteers to serve separately on the 3-person committees “for” and “against” the ballot measure. Each committee will be tasked with preparing their respective statements in favor or against the measure and rebuttals to the other committee’s statement which will appear in the voter’s pamphlet.

Interested volunteers are asked to email a completed application to City Clerk Susan Duncan at susanduncan@cityofferndale.org by 4pm on Monday, June 21st.

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