In August, Benton County voters will be asked to vote on a new public safety sales tax and whether to increase the local sale tax rate by 0.3 percent.
If approved, it would generate approximately $9 million per year for public safety spending. The tax increase would sunset (end) on December 24, 2024. A family in Benton County, with an average income of $64,898 would pay an extra $87/year or $7.25/month. This revenue would be split between Benton County, Kennewick, Richland, West Richland and Prosser for various public safety programs such as gang prevention/intervention, Metro Drug Task Force, hiring of additional police officers, mental health court, etc.
If you shop outside of Benton County, it will not affect you. It will make no difference if you live in Benton County, Franklin County, Houston, Paris or Anchorage -- if you make purchases in Benton County, you will pay the additional 0.3 percent on what you spend.
The proposed 0.3 percent sales and use tax equals 3/10 of one percent, or 3 cents on a $10 purchase. Your property taxes will not be increased. This is a no-brainer, folks.
You've probably got those 3 cents in your cars' cup holder. Vote yes.
LINDA PARRISH, Kennewick