Letters to the Editor

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911: Proposition 1 is limited to life of the bonds

Letter by Dick Muri, Steilacoom on Oct. 28, 2011 at 9:34 am | 30 Comments »
October 28, 2011 11:07 am

Opponents of Proposition 1, which creates a seamless countywide emergency communications system called South Sound 911, are making lots of incorrect claims.

Let’s set the record straight.

CLAIM: This is a permanent tax.
FACT: As a member of your Pierce County Council, I sponsored the amendment that placed an air-tight “sunset clause” on the sales tax increase. The one-tenth of one percent sales tax will expire in 25 years, after the construction bonds are paid off. It would take voter approval to renew it.

CLAIM: The government will “quietly” shift this tax to other areas after the capital needs are paid off.
FACT: This would be illegal. A state law, RCW 82.14.420, authorizes counties to ask voters to increase the sales tax by one-tenth of one percent solely to finance, design, build and operate “emergency communication systems and facilities.”

CLAIM: There are “undisclosed taxes and fees.”
FACT: There is only one new tax. The rest of the funding comes from existing 911 revenue sources.

CLAIM: This is only the county government’s problem.
FACT: Approximately 40 police and fire agencies in the county will get necessary radio equipment for their personnel. At least four local dispatch agencies will merge into a better, more efficient operation.

Voting for this new tax was not easy. But after many hours of hearings and reviewing the data, I concluded it was necessary to enhance public safety. Check out www.fix911.org before you vote, and learn more.

(Dick Muri is a councilmember for Pierce County Council District 6)

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