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City of Kirkland

Proposition No. 1
Additional Sales and Use Tax for Enhanced Police Services and Community Safety

The Kirkland City Council adopted Resolution No. R-5324 concerning a proposition for funding enhanced police services and community safety. If approved, this proposition would increase the sales and use tax rate by one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) to provide ongoing funding for public safety purposes permitted under RCW 82.14.450, planned to include additional police officers, school resource officers in Kirkland middle schools, after school programs and expanded mental health and human services programs focusing on gun safety, homelessness, domestic violence, suicide prevention, and related public safety issues. The increase would become effective in 2019.

Should this proposition be:

Approved

Rejected


The Kirkland City Council has proposed a ballot measure to approve a sales and use tax increase for public safety enhancements. If passed, beginning in 2019, the sales and use tax rate within the city of Kirkland would increase by 0.1% (one cent on a ten-dollar purchase). Use of these sales tax revenues is restricted under state law: one-third must be dedicated to criminal justice purposes, fire protection purposes, or both; and 85% of the amounts collected are retained by the City and 15% are distributed to the County.

The City proposes to use this funding to enhance public safety priorities developed through public processes. In 2019, planned funding includes: a police “ProAct” unit (four full-time officers and one support position) to focus on property and drug-related crimes; the City’s share of costs for four full-time school resource officers in Kirkland middle schools; one neighborhood resource officer (focusing on community policing and mental health emergency support); and the services of one full-time mental health professional. Additional funds would enhance funding for grants to programs that improve social and emotional health of children and teenagers; programs that provide suicide prevention, domestic violence prevention and drug addiction services; programs for firearms safety and safe storage training, including subsidized trigger locks and gun safes; and additional support for shelter operations for women and families experiencing homelessness. Over time, the City Council would adjust spending priorities as resources and community priorities require, within the permitted uses under state law.

Vote ‘Yes’ on Proposition 1:  Enhanced Police Services  & Community Safety

While Kirkland is a thriving city, even thriving cities lack resources to meet evolving public safety needs. Urgent public safety issues confronting the community include school safety, increased crime (car prowls/burglaries), domestic violence, drug addiction, gun violence and homelessness. More resources are needed on our streets and in our schools to continue to keep Kirkland safe.

For just one penny on a $10 purchase, Proposition 1 provides five new police officers and one support staff dedicated to solving property/drug-related crimes; four new school resource officers for middle schools (cost shared equally with LWSD); mental health resources for people in crisis; programs to improve the wellbeing of youth, suicide prevention, domestic violence prevention and drug addiction services; gun safety training/safe storage; and funding to reduce homelessness.

Polls show public safety is a top priority. This proposition is consistent with the community’s preference over other revenue-generating options i.e. an increase to property tax/car tab fees. Proposition 1 provides much needed enhancements to public safety that will make Kirkland an even better place to live, work and play.

Please join us in voting ‘Yes’ on Proposition 1.

 

We need to vote against this tax increase.  Everything the City proposes can be done using tax money already available. 

Our tax burden goes up every year, giving the City more money to spend.  In December 2017, the City Council increased 2-year spending by over $31 million without adding new taxes.  New money came from all the usual places: sales taxes, cable and internet service taxes, property taxes, taxes on businesses, and taxes on construction.

We all know the City’s tax income will increase every year and taxes and fees from new offices, stores, and apartments at Kirkland Urban and Totem Lake will add even more.

Instead of a new tax that increases our burden, the City should change spending to match today’s priorities.  The current 2-year budget is an enormous ¾ billion dollars – about $8,000 each for our community of 90,000 people.  The City estimates the tax will add $3.6 million over two years – only 0.48% of the budget and 1/10 of the “found money” for 2017-2018.

Everyone is hurt by tolls, higher car tabs, and tax increases, especially those with less.

There’s enough money to pay for critical new services – this new tax just isn’t needed.  Vote “No”.

 

Let’s not be penny-wise and pound-foolish!

The opponents agree there is a need for critical new services. The city doesn’t have the funds to provide increased public safety without cutting other needed services. Prudence demands we pass what is one of the smallest tax increases ever. One penny on a $10 purchase is the wisest investment you can make to improve safety in our streets and schools. Vote Yes on Proposition 1.

Submitted by: Santos Contreras, David Greschler, Heather McKnight, www.saferkirkland.org

 

"For just one penny”, say those who have plenty.

For our neighbors who struggle to pay for life’s essentials, the pennies Kirkland takes away for taxes add up and the struggle becomes a painful battle.

Kirkland can provide new public safety services without taking more money away from us by raising taxes.  City Council just has to change how they spend our money so spending matches our priorities.

This tax increase is unnecessary. Vote No!

Submitted by: Michelle Darnell, Ken MacKenzie, NoTaxIncreaseKirkland@gmail.com

Simple majority (RCW 82.14.450(2))

Kevin Raymond, City Attorney, 425-587-3031, KRaymond@KirklandWA.gov

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