The Benton County public safety sales tax will undoubtedly make my family and our community safer.
It funds 32 additional police officers, adds a judge's position, and more deputy prosecutors -- one of whom will be dedicated solely to prosecuting gang crimes.
It will improve our criminal justice system for the next 10 years, adding prevention programs that don't currently exist.
The police officers and prevention programs are clearly necessary.
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So the question becomes: Is three pennies on a $10 purchase worth it? The Department of Revenue estimates an average family will spend $87 annually as a result of this sales tax.
You won't find any other investment that gives you a better return on your dollar.
It's appropriate this is a sales tax and not a property tax. This means Benton County property owners aren't the ones solely responsible for financing this program.
Visitors from Franklin, Walla Walla, Yakima and other counties who spend their money here will help pay for this important measure -- just as we help their respective criminal justice sales tax when we make purchases in those counties.
We can't make these crucial improvements to public safety without your help. Please vote on Aug. 5.
JAN STEPHAN, Richland