Tuesday, May 8, San Juan County Council approved a ballot measure asking for a three-tenths of one percent (0.003) increase in sales tax to support law enforcement services. The current sales tax rate is 7.8 percent. If approved by voters, this measure would increase it to 8.1 percent.
It would be collected on sales and use transactions, except those exempted by RCW 82.14.450(4) (sales of automobiles and leases of automobiles for less than 36 months.)
This works out to be thirty cents ($.30) of every $100 of taxable transactions is the public safety sales tax.
The legislation requires, forty percent of the funds collected to go to any city in the county. It also required the town to give 15 percent of the 40 percent back to the county.
The Town Council supports the ballot measure and plans to use its share of the funds for criminal justice and public safety purposes and public works projects such as streets.
The county is required to clearly state the purposes for which the proposed sales and use tax will be used. One third of the money must be used solely for criminal justice purposes, fire protection purposes or both.
On April 17, 2012, the members of the Law and Justice Council adopted motions concerning this measure and the members of the Law and Justice Council have voted unanimously to encourage the council to submit the measure to the voters.