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Whatcom County Proposition 2017-6

The Whatcom County Council passed Ordinance 2017- 037 concerning a proposition to authorize a sales and use tax for public safety purposes, including new jail facilities. This proposition would authorize a sales and use tax of two tenths of one percent (0.002) for public safety purposes, including costs associated with construction, maintenance, and operation of jail facilities, plus incarceration prevention, medical and behavioral health facilities and programs, as authorized by RCW 82.14.450. Half of this tax (0.001) will expire upon repayment of the total capital cost of jail facilities, or December 31, 2048, whichever occurs first.Explanatory StatementState law requires the County to provide a jail. The County Council has determined the current jail does not meet existing and future needs. If Proposition 2017-6 passes, the County will build a replacement jail in Ferndale, demolish the existing jail and construct an inmate holding space at the County Courthouse. The Proposition would add a sales and use tax at a rate of 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) to be used for public safety, including construction and operation of a jail, and facilities and programs for medical and behavioral health services and incarceration prevention, as authorized by RCW 82.14.450.
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