Marysville is one of only two Snohomish County cities with its own jail. (Lynnwood is the other.) This is an important component of the city's crime-reducing strategies.
In most nearby cities, people who commit misdemeanor crimes that harm a community's quality of life are given a ticket and a court date and released back into the community. These types of crimes include theft, vandalism, vehicle prowl, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing, reckless driving and DUI.
In Marysville, officers arrest these offenders and book them into our jail, meaning immediate consequences for offenders and increased protection for the Marysville community.
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When the current Public Safety Building was built in 1986, the Marysville Police Department had 24 employees. 30 years later, our city population is more than seven times larger. The Police Department has expanded to serve our growing city and has outgrown the current facility.
A growing community plus the city's commitment to hire more police officers in the years ahead equals the need for a larger facility to serve Marysville today and into the future.
The current Public Safety building built in 1986 was designed to accommodate growth and served the community well for years but is no longer adequate. Just as previous city leaders planned for the future and Marysville voters in the '80s approved of that plan, today the Marysville community needs to plan for and consider investing in current and future public safety needs and infrastructure.
The county jail is primarily responsible for housing people on more serious felony charges and has its own guidelines for which inmates they will accept. Suspects in felony cases are housed at the county jail, but most often suspects in misdemeanor cases are not accepted there.
The ability for our Police officers to book suspects into jail here also saves hours of staff time transporting them to Everett and going through the booking process there. This means officers can return to service more quickly.
If voters approve, the Criminal Justice Tax ballot measure will raise retail sales tax by one-tenth of one percent, or an additional 10 cents on a $100 purchase. The new sales tax rate of 9.2% is still lower than many Snohomish County cities. And because sales tax is paid by both residents and visitors, the cost is shared by a wider audience than property owners alone.
This could provide for $800,000 in annual revenues, about 70% of the estimated annual debt payment for a 30-year bond on a new Police Services Building. The remaining 30% of the annual debt payment would come from the city's General Fund.
The City Council has not increased the Marysville property tax rate since 2001. Increases in your property tax are generally associated with increased property values and/or raises in other taxes.
This proposal is for a small retail sales tax increase. The city budget and all city spending are available for public review 24/7 on the Open Books portal of the city website. We value transparency and believe you have the right to know how your tax dollars are spent. Visit www.marysvillewa.gov/123/Finance.