City Council to Support Public Safety Sales Tax

The Shelton City Council will consider a resolution supporting Mason County’s proposed Public Safety Sales Tax during their meeting at 6 PM Tuesday, July 16. MasonWebTV Powered by HCC will broadcast Tuesday’s City Council meeting live.

If approved by voters on August 6, 2019, the Public Safety Sales and Use tax would increase to three-tenths of 1%. A City news release says because Shelton residents approved a ballot measure in 2011 to collect a one-tenth of 1% sales tax dedicated to public safety, approval of the county ballot proposition would raise the tax by two-tenths of a percentage to a total of three-tenths of 1% within Shelton city limits.

Last week, the North Mason Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee held an information meeting on the topic of the Public Safety Sales Tax. Among the speakers were Mason County Commissioner Kevin Shutty, Shelton Police Chief Darin Moody, Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury, and Mason County Jail Chief Kevin Hanson. Powered by HCC was on hand for the meeting.

If approved, the proposition would authorize Mason County to implement a countywide 0.3% sales and use tax, split between the County (60%) and the City of Shelton (40%). This would increase the City’s annual revenue dedicated to public safety services by approximately $830,000. It is anticipated that these new funds would be used to fund two additional police officer positions, purchase new law enforcement vehicles and specialized public safety equipment, and fund two social worker positions
focused on addressing local homelessness. Proactively addressing homelessness in Shelton is a priority for the City Council. The additional funding would also enable the City to contract with other nearby jail
facilities to house inmates.

“Mason County voters, including Shelton residents, have an important decision to make,” said City Manager Jeff Niten. “We are constantly working to increase efficiencies and provide exceptional levels of service with the limited funds that are available. Our public safety officers do an excellent job utilizing all available resources, including a variety of state and federally funded grant programs. However, growing public safety needs are a necessary consideration. This funding would provide dedicated funds
for public safety needs now and in the future. Additionally, the City would not need to rely as heavily on the general fund to support our police officers.”

Criminal justice and law enforcement efforts in Mason County require a close partnership between the City of Shelton and the County. By 2036, new residents moving to our area are expected to bring the City of Shelton’s population to 23,416. Population increases require increased public safety measures to meet desired levels of service. Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of local government. Additional funding for criminal justice purposes will permit the expansion of public safety service
throughout Mason County.