Mill Creek voters approving public safety sales tax

MILL CREEK — Voters in this city appear to have approved a new tax to help fund public safety.

Proposition 1, a ballot measure representing a 0.1 percent sales and use tax increase, was passing Tuesday night with nearly 68 percent approval.

The sales tax needs a simple majority to pass and is expected to raise approximately $160,000 a year. All of the tax revenue for the city is planned to fund police protection services.

The city needs the revenue to avoid making cuts to its police department. About $6 million and about $9.6 million in the proposed 2013-2014 biennial budget is to fund fire and police services, respectively.

The state Department of Revenue allocates 85 percent of the tax proceeds to the city and 15 percent to Snohomish County. The county must use the money to fund criminal justice or fire protection service while the city must use a third of their allocated tax money for criminal justice, fire protection or both services.

The Mill Creek Police Department has 23 commissioned officers. A budget is expected to be adopted at the Dec. 4 council meeting.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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