Pierce County Law Enforcement Support Agency Sales Tax Increase (November 2011)

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A Pierce County Law Enforcement Support Agency Sales Tax Increase measure was on the November 8, 2011 ballot in Pierce County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 109,664 (55.14%)Approveda
  • NO 89,205 (44.86%)[1]

This measure sought to increase the current county sales tax by a rate of .01 percent and would go towards the county Law Enforcement Support Agency (LASA). This agency is responsible for emergency communication and dispatch throughout the county, but has not been able to keep up with the increased need throughout the county so the current agency is unable to cover the entire county. The additional funds will build a new emergency response system and would increase emergency response times. A portion of the eastern part of the county already implemented its own new system and noted that they were against this measure as it would conflict with their own system while others note that they would have preferred a different system.[2]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

The Pierce County Council passed Resolution No. R2011-87 proposing to fund improvements to Pierce County's 9-1-1 emergency communication system. If passed, Proposition No. 1 would authorize a county-wide, one-tenth of one percent (0.01%) local sales and use tax to fund costs associated with financing, design, acquisition, construction, equipping, operating, maintaining, remodeling, repairing and re-equipping the county's 9-1-1 emergency communication system and facilities infrastructure.[3][4]

Support

The Board of Fire Commissioners for East Pierce Fire & Rescue district had given their support behind this measure, along with the cities of Lakewood and Tacoma and Pierce County and West Pierce Fire & Rescue districts. The consensus behind the support was that the patchwork system that is currently in place is inefficient for residents and everyone would benefit from a more uniform system.[5]

Opposition

Those opposed noted that while they are in favor of updating the agency's radios and equipment, they do not think that raising taxes for twenty-five years is the way to go about it. Others noted as well that emergency calls are better handled at the local level, the new system will still require calls to be transferred to the specified location, increasing wait times.[6]

Additional reading

References