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Kent City Council Approves Resolution for Proposition A
A Police and Criminal Justice Ballot Measure, to Go to Kent Voters
At tonight's city council meeting, Kent City Council voted 7 to 0 in favor of sending Proposition A, a police and criminal justice ballot measure, to Kent voters in a special election on April 24, 2018. In a separate action last night, the Kent City Council passed a resolution to encourage voters to vote in favor of Proposition A.
A simple majority is required to pass the ballot measure. If passed, Proposition A will increase utility taxes by 2 percent, impacting taxes on electricity, manufactured and natural gas, telephone (cell and land lines) and cable TV (excludes satellite TV). The impact of the utility tax increase on the average Kent household is estimated to be just over $11 per month.
If the ballot measure passes, the increase in utility taxes will raise about $4.8 million annually to be used exclusively to hire more than 20 police officers and supporting corrections officers, prosecutors, public defenders and court clerks. It will also allow the police department to expand operations of its special investigations unit to seven days a week.
Currently, there are fewer Kent police officers per 1,000 residents when compared to similarly-situated Washington cities. The addition of more officers to the Kent police force will bring Kent’s ratio of officers to population up to the average. Also, the addition of more officers will reduce the amount of overtime Kent police officers currently work.