Have questions about the proposed sales tax increase in Blaine? Here’s how officials plan to answer them

The Olympian

The City of Blaine is hosting two public meetings to discuss its proposal to fund a Transportation Benefit District with a 0.2 sales tax increase. The measure will be on the April special election ballot.

The first meeting will be April 8 at 1 p.m. at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St.; the second will be April 17 at 7 p.m. at the Semiahmoo Fire Hall, 9001 Semiahmoo Parkway.

Officials said community members with questions are encouraged to attend before casting their ballots, which must be postmarked by April 25 to be counted – ballots will be in the mail to all registered Blaine voters by April 7.

The City Council passed a resolution in February placing a 0.2 percent sales tax increase on the ballot for the April special election.

The sales tax would generate approximately $200,000 a year, which would be used for street and trail projects and programs through a Transportation Benefit District, city officials said.

“The TBD is the first step of a larger Strategic Economic Initiative to revitalize the City of Blaine. One priority area identified by community members was a need to raise revenue for city services through economic development efforts,” city officials wrote in a news release Monday. “Good transportation links are the first step to bring people to Blaine for shopping and recreational opportunities.”

If voters approve the increase, the city’s sales tax would be 8.7 percent, which is the same as that of Lynden, Ferndale and Bellingham, officials said.

Information about the TBD, including a list of projects eligible for funding, can be found at www.ci.blaine.wa.us/903/Transportation-Benefit-District-TBD.