The Pierce County Council voted 4-3 against Ordinance 2016-57s, which would have authorized a one tenth of one percent sales tax. A supermajority of five members was needed to pass the tax. The sales tax proceeds would have been directed to behavioral health services in Pierce County.
This vote comes after months of information gathering and public feedback on behavioral health issues facing Pierce County. Had the tax passed, Pierce County would have been one of 23 counties that currently collect the tax. It is estimated that in 2018, the average amount paid by each person in Pierce County would have been about $17 per year, which would have resulted in approximately $11M annually.
Earlier this year, the Council commissioned the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) to specifically study the following areas of behavioral health in Pierce County:
The Council also held a series of Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings. The COW meetings allowed the Council to gather feedback from the public on the results of the study and to receive presentations from other groups or organizations that are working on behavioral health. The schedule of meetings included:
Following the COW meetings, the Council heard Ordinance 2016-57s which introduced the one tenth of one percent sales and use tax for behavioral health in the Public Safety, Human Services and Budget Committee. The committee discussed a framework to present to the Council at two meetings, where the ordinance passed out of committee without recommendation.
The public can view the HSRI study, link to other behavioral health working groups, or view the passed legislation at behavioral health webpage.
MEDIA CONTACTS:Erin Babbo, Communications Specialist (253) email@example.com