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City of Kent

Proposition A
2% Utility Tax Increase for Police and Criminal Justice Services

In order to fund additional police officers and criminal justice services in Kent, Proposition A would authorize the city to levy a 2% utility tax increase, from 6% to 8%, on the total gross revenues of companies providing electricity, manufactured and natural gas, telephone, and cable television services in the city. The additional revenue will establish police officer staffing levels consistent with comparable jurisdictions, and fund other criminal justice services impacted by additional officers.

Should this proposition be:

Approved

Rejected


The city of Kent currently employs fewer police officers per 1000 residents when compared to similarly situated Washington cities. Impacts from continued growth, which include violent crimes and property crimes, as well as quality of life issues, make it necessary to increase the number of police officers patrolling the streets and investigating crime. Due to a legislative change in the manner in which goods are taxed, the city has been unable to adequately fund the additional police officers needed.

The city currently imposes a 6% utility tax on private electricity, gas, telephone, and cable television utilities. If approved by the voters, Proposition A will increase that tax on these utilities by 2%, raising the total utility tax on these services to 8%. This 2% utility tax increase will be devoted exclusively to fund additional police and criminal justice services. It will allow the city to add more than 20 police officers to patrol city streets and investigate crimes, and will fund other areas of the criminal justice system, such as the jail, court system, prosecutors, and public defenders, which are impacted by the addition of police officers.

The Kent City Council has determined that in order to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens, it is in the best interest of the city to seek voter approval of this 2% utility tax increase for the sole purpose of maintaining and enhancing police and criminal justice services in Kent.

Our police department is currently understaffed, overworked and stretching its resources to meet the needs of our growing community. Our officers are working 16 hour shifts with mandatory overtime to keep up with our City’s growth. Over 2 million dollars a year has been spent on overtime; this is not the right solution to the problem.

Our police officers are fundamental to a safe and thriving community. To retain residents, attract new businesses and continue to grow, we must ensure that our community is safe. By voting Yes to approve this measure you will only slightly increase utility taxes (cable, gas, electric) which will be applied to homeowners, renters and businesses evenly. Approving this measure will ensure we hire more than 20 police officers and add additional criminal justice services to one of the best police departments in Washington.

As national tragedies, acts of violence and property crimes rise, ensuring our citizen’s safety is vitally important. Our police department should have the staff and tools necessary to fight crime and keep Kent a great community.

Vote Yes to support our hard working police department, protecting our City, growing our economy and keeping Kent safe.

Kent’s Police Department can be funded thru the city’s regular budget, not through unrelated taxes on Utilities you rely upon daily.

In 2010, Kent’s elected leaders disposed of the Kent Fire Department to “save money” by sponsoring the Kent Regional Fire Authority, thinking several million dollars would be freed up to fund the Police Department.

Where’d the money go?

Every year Kent pays $3 million to the RFA. When past-mayor Cooke wanted a pay raise she compared compensation of local mayors. Why didn’t she and the council compare fire costs paid by local cities?

Fact: Auburn and Renton pay a fraction of Kent’s fire cost!

Kent’s elected leaders ok’d the RFA “money savings plan”, then double taxed us, exploiting a $10 million property tax loophole – Google ‘Kent banked capacity’, see for yourself.

Kent’s mayor and council need to fully fund our Police Department – with tax revenue the city already collects!

Now they want to increase tax on Your Utilities by 30%!

Utility taxes are intended to benefit Public Works and Infrastructure.

Kent Taxpayers should not bear the burden of Kent’s financial mismanagement year after year – especially with unrelated taxes.

Hold onto your wallets, reject Kent’s Prop A.

Proposition A enables our Police Department to hire more officers and fund other criminal justice services impacted by hiring the additional officers.

Kent has experienced a large decrease in sales tax revenues due to Washington’s streamlined sales tax legislation.

The proposed 2% increase to utility providers will be used exclusively to pay for the additional officers and staff.

Feeling safe in our city is a priority.  Join us in voting Yes on Proposition A

Submitted by: Linda L. Sagare, rita ann Schwarting, Bailey Stober (206)718-0693

Cooke signed away $50mil in real estate to RFA.

Reporter: 2018 Kent Property Taxes to Jump 15.4%

Kent Puget Sound RFA Prop 1: 58% Property Tax & FBC increase Kent & Covington!

Kent is spending $2mil for Police overtime, hire new officers with that money.

Make better fiscal decisions with current tax revenue collected.

Kent elected leaders need to balance Public Safety cost: Less Puget Sound RFA, more Kent Police Department.

Vote No Prop A

Submitted by: Eric Bernard, Karen Bernard, Edward Worcester http://nofirebenefitchargescheme.typepad.com/no_fire_benefit_charge_sc/

 Simple majority (RCW 35.21.870)

For questions about this measure, contact: Kimberley A. Komoto, City Clerk 253-856-5725 kkomoto@kentwa.gov

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