Confusing car registration fee raises questions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Confusing car registration fee raises questions

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

It’s not cheap to register your car. And if you saw a $20 charge for something, but had not idea what it was for wouldn’t you want to know why?

That’s what happened when a viewer sent us a news tip Tuesday.

The woman sent us a picture of her vehicle registration with all the listed charges.

One of the fees read $20.00 T.B.D.

Like most people, the woman interpreted the fee as “To be determined.”

So we looked into it for her and found the answer.

According to the City of Spokane and the Department of Licensing, T.B.D stands for Transportation Benefit District.

In 2010, City Council enacted a $20 annual vehicle tab license fee, which raises about $2.7 million a year into a transportation benefit district. The City says those funds are paying for smaller street projects, largely in residential areas, including crack sealing and chip sealing.

While the acronym is confusing, it’s not a hidden fee. A spokesperson with the DOL says it was discussed several times in past City Council meetings.

KHQ asked if the DOL is considering changing the acronym to make it less confusing, but it’s not something they control.

The DOL admits the acronym is confusing, and will forward the complaint to the state. 

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