King County Public Safety Sales Tax Increase (November 2010)

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A King County Public Safety Sales Tax Increase measure was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in King County.

This measure was defeated

  • YES 314,535 (45.1%)
  • NO 382,822 (54.9%)Defeatedd[1]

This measure sought to increase the local sales taxes by .2 percent which would go towards funding public safety services offered in the county. The county Sheriff's office noted that without the money, the office would be forced to cut services and fire officers in order to have a balanced budget. Support for the increase though was hard to manage, a poll before the election showed near 57 percent of those polled did not support the tax increase. County officials were hopeful more support wiould come by November.[2]

In a last minute decision, the Council added a provision to the measure, stating that a portion of the funds that would be collected from this tax will also go towards the Youth Services Center in the county. Officials noted that the building for the Youth services is so rundown that repairs and upgrades were needed and the council saw this as the best way to allocate money towards that facility.[3]

Opponents saw this as a scare tactic by county officials, stating that public services would suffer if more money is not received; noting that other programs could be cut before police services.[4]

But City officials noted that it was not scare tactics but instead insisted that other taxing measures have not kept up with the growth of the county so this was the last resort to keep the budget balance and close the spending gap. Around 40 percent of the collected money would have gone to local government uses, while the rest would have been used by the county mainly to fund public services such as police officers.[5]

See also