County Council delays vote on sales tax increase

The Pierce County Council unanimously voted at its March 7 meeting to delay consideration of an ordinance that would levy a 1/10 of 1 percent sales tax increase. The motion to continue was made by Councilmember Dave Morell.

The proposed tax hike would go toward affordable housing and related services and is estimated to raise approximately $20 million a year.

“This was moved and seconded from a previous meeting and continued to today’s meeting,” said Chair Ryan Mello.

A December vote on the tax was delayed until this month because the council did not have a supermajority vote to pass the ordinance and protect it from a possible veto by County Executive Bruce Dammeier.

“I anticipate a motion to continue this at the meeting of March 21,” Mello said before the council voted to do just that.

A public hearing on the matter was held by the council, which saw two people speak on the issue.

Last year, the council adopted the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness and The Housing Action Strategy. The Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness estimated the county needs to spend an additional $117 million annually to fully fund the homeless crisis response system.

The Housing Action Strategy recommended imposing a 0.1 percent tax to fund affordable housing solutions.


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