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Grandview hits snag with $20 car tab fees, as non-city residents will likely be hit with assessments

GRANDVIEW - The Grandview Transportation Benefit District members, which consist of the city council, met last night to approve an internet vehicle/vessel information processing system user agreement.

The agreement between the city and the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) will allow city employees access to vehicle registration information, using the DOL's computer records.

City Clerk Anita Palacios said the city needs this access to verify residential status of anyone within Grandview's zip code when those living outside city limits are charged the $20 license tab fee the city is imposing on residents.

When someone living outside the city limits protests the $20 fee, city staff will be able to verify the information before refunding the monies.

Palacios said Prosser has had the same issues of non-city residents being charged the $20 fee and deserving a refund.

Councilman Jesse Palacios said accessing the DOL records is a requirement for cities collecting the license tab fee.

Councilman Mike Bren asked if there will be a delay between the time during which the fee is collected by the DOL and the city's ability to refund the money.

City Treasurer John Myers said, "I'm certain there will be a delay."

He said the DOL must collect license registration renewal funds, including the fee. The funds will take time to process before they are deposited into the Transportation Benefit District account. Once funds are available in that account, refunds can be made.

Myers suggested publishing alerts for the benefit of citizens living outside city limits, giving them notice there will be a lapse in time before refunds can be issued.

Councilman Palacios said, "I think it is important we (the city) have a response. We're going to be crossing a river, a bridge, a road we haven't been on."

He suggested the transportation district members research Prosser's method of handling refunds for residents living outside its city limits.

Palacios said non-city residents will want answers and it is the city's job to have a response.

The Grandview Transportation Benefit District Board approved the agreement between DOL and the city by 7-0 vote.

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