Grays Harbor sales tax going up in support of local police

Grays Harbor voters are approving a measure to increase sales tax countywide by three-tenths of one percent. It is passing with a 53.8% of the vote.

The 0.3% is intended to provide additional funding to “preserve the current level of criminal justice” or “provide for anticipated future needs”

60% of the funding will go to the County departments such as Sheriff’s Office, courts, or jail.

According to the state RCW that allows for the increase, at least 1/3 of the funding is required to be used for the intended offices.

Sheriff Rick Scott had told KXRO that the current Grays Harbor Commissioners had spoke in favor of 100% going for these purposes. Individual cities would be able to allocate these funds as needed, whether it be to policing or General funds.

In Elma, a proposition to “Partially Fund Police Services” for 2017 is currently passing. If approved, this would bring $250,000 to the city by increasing property taxes by $1.29 per $1,000 assessed value.

Westport residents have also chosen to vote for a levy to bring $513,000 to EMS and fire response, adding $1.61 per $1,000 assessed value to owners.

Fire District 3 is passing and Fire District 14 is failing on their EMS excess levies.

$120,000 for the Westport area will add $2.10 per $1,000 for EMS service, while just to the east in Fire District 14; $194,000 would add $1.80 per $1,000.

In Pacific County, also on the South Beach in the Tokeland area, an excess levy to raise $197,735 is failing in Grays Harbor. This would increase taxes by $2.39 per $1,000 assessed value.

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