King County Public Safety Sales Tax Increase (November 2010)
This measure was defeated
- YES 314,535 (45.1%)
- NO 382,822 (54.9%)
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Auburn Reporter, "Municipal League rates local 2010 ballot proposals," September 23, 2010
- Issaquah Press, "County proposes tax hike to stave off cuts," September 21, 2010
- Auburn Reporter, "County Council places sales tax ballot measure on November ballot," July 20, 2010
- B-Town Blog, "King County Council Places Sales Tax Measure On November Ballot," July 20, 2010
- King County Elections, November Election Results
- Seattle PI, "Higher taxes for public safety? Voters will decide," July 19, 2010
- Seattle PI, "Take 2: King Co. public safety tax measure tweaked," July 26, 2010
- Sammamish Review, "Ballot measures target new, revised taxes," October 5, 2010
- The Seattle Times, "Boosting King County sales tax a hard sell despite public-safety shortfalls," October 23, 2010