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Snohomish City Council sends voters a public safety sales tax

Snohomish City Council sends voters a public safety sales tax

Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive

Today, the Snohomish County Council unanimously (5-0) approved the addition of a VAT collection in the area of ​​public security on the ballot for the November 5, 2024 general election. The levy was proposed by Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and, if approved by voters, will provide additional funding for the county’s efforts to reduce crime and mitigate the effects of the drug crisis.

“We know the public is demanding creative solutions to the drug crisis because of its negative impact on individuals, businesses and our community,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive. “We must ensure that perpetrators are held accountable, while also showing compassion to ensure people get the help they need.”

“By creating new programs and strengthening our criminal justice tools, we can do more to combat the drug crisis and the resulting crime,” said Jared Mead, chairman of the Snohomish County Council. “Voters can now decide whether they want us to use these new tools and strengthen our law enforcement agencies.”

If voters approve the public safety sales tax:

  • Snohomish County will be able to hire more police officers to ensure that cartels, drug traffickers and criminals are held accountable.
  • The county can provide more resources to the prosecutor’s office, public defenders, and the courts to ensure we can prosecute those arrested for crimes.
  • The county will establish a secure detoxification facility in Snohomish County to provide more capacity for those who need to get clean, significantly increasing the 77 beds currently available statewide.
  • Snohomish County would establish a second community resource center like Carnegie, which has proven successful in providing people with access to services.
  • The county wants to expand addiction treatment services in our jail.
  • The district will develop programs to combat graffiti, abandoned vehicles and other visible signs of the crisis.

“I am pleased that voters have the opportunity to express their opinion on this important issue,” said Snohomish County Council Vice Chairman Nate Nehring. “Weighing the burden of a sales tax increase against the benefit of additional law enforcement resources is a difficult decision. It is appropriate that this important decision be in the hands of voters.”

“My strong support for law enforcement and safe neighborhoods is why I want to give voters the opportunity to comment on the public safety sales tax,” said Councillor Sam Low.Our region and our country are awash with dangerous drugs, and with public consent, we can deploy more tools to ensure public safety.”

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputy used a PIT maneuver

“This request to voters will strengthen the county’s ability to holistically fund public safety in our communities,” said Council Member Megan Dunn.

She continues, “It is important that the county has the resources necessary to take a balanced approach to ensuring the safety of all of our residents. The broad range of needs funded by this measure, including addressing behavioral health issues, youth violence, combating illegal activity and improving access to treatment services, will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for everyone in our county.”

“We know that the complex public safety challenges we face require new investments,” said Council Member Strom Peterson. “As a growing county, we must take the next steps to ensure the safety and health of all our residents. The public now has the opportunity to decide if this is a priority.”

If voters approve, the tax would cost 2 cents per $10 purchase. Estimates suggest the tax would cost the average citizen less than a dollar a week. Sales tax revenue would be split, with 60% going to Snohomish County and the remaining 40% going to cities based on population and whether they have passed their own local sales tax.

Over 50% of the funds would be used by the county for criminal justice purposes and the remainder for other public safety priorities.