Sales-tax hike on ballot means millions for Kirkland

Elections 2010 - Courtesy photo
Elections 2010
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The City of Kirkland could receive about $1.6 million in new revenue in 2012 if voters approve a countywide, sales-tax increase in November to pay for public-safety agencies.

The Metropolitan King County Council voted recently to place the two-tenths of a percent, sales-tax increase on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The sales-tax hike would go into effect in 2011, raising about $59 million countywide. In 2012, the first full year of the tax increase, the amount raised is estimated at about $80 million.

The county’s 39 cities will share 40 percent of the revenue, or about $23.6 million in 2011 and about $32 million in 2012.

How much money each city receives is based on population.

According to King County, based on 2009, Kirkland’s population of 48,000 is about 2.5 percent of the county’s population. That translates into $740,000 for the partial year 2011.

King County will base its 2011 revenue allocation on June 1, 2011 state population numbers. That means Kirkland’s revenue for 2012 is about $1.6 million, with the annexation of 33,000 new residents effective June 11, 2011.

The law requires that cities spend one-third of the revenue on criminal-justice services.

The tax increase expires after three years if it isn’t renewed by voters.

The county’s portion of the revenue would go solely to public safety programs, ranging from the Sheriff and Prosecutor’s Office to Public Defense and Jail Health Services.

Along with an increase in the sales tax, the measure would use a portion of the county’s unincorporated area levy — $9.5 million in 2011 — to fund police services in the county’s unincorporated communities.

“It’s important to remember that the council did not raise taxes today,” said Julia Patterson, Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, in a press release.

“We’re giving voters the chance to tell us if they support public safety services provided by King County and every other city in the County,” said Patterson.

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