Next steps in new police station now that Sequim sales tax increase passing
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Now with two tallies, voters approved Proposition 1 by a 59.94 percent to 40.06 percent margin, with 953 votes in favor and 637 votes opposed out of the 1,590 Sequim ballots counted at the Clallam County Auditor’s Office.
A simple majority is required to pass.
With passage, the city’s next step is to hire an architect, file for permits and do the other tasks before the city can break ground, Police Chief Bill Dickinson said.
Proposition 1 would add a sales tax increase of one-tenth of 1 percent on retail purchases within the city limit to fund the new police station.
The tax would add 1 penny to every $10 spent on retail purchases, not including grocery items. It would apply to deli sales and restaurant meals.
It is expected to generate $280,000 annually, $40,000 of which would go to Clallam County, city officials have said.
Sequim currently has the highest sales tax rate in Clallam County at 8.6 percent. Elsewhere in Clallam County, it is 8.4 percent. Jefferson County has the highest sales tax rate on the North Olympic Peninsula at 9 percent.
The police station would include a secure parking and prisoner transfer area, an underground target shooting range, a larger and more efficient evidence storage room than the current headquarters, rented space in the J.C. Penney shopping mall on Washington Street.
Police headquarters are to be part of a $12 million to $14 million civic center, which will include a new city hall, dual-use emergency communications center and city council chambers, located at the corner of Sequim Avenue and Cedar Street.
Funding for the new city hall will come from cash the city has been saving for that purpose, the sale of bonds and other tax funds available to the city.
The city already owns the land, from the existing city hall building at 152 W. Cedar St. to the corner of Sequim Avenue and Cedar Street.
The sales tax would not have a sunset clause, and once the police department’s new building is paid off, the money raised by the tax would pay for continued law enforcement operations, city leaders said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: August 08. 2012 6:07PM