On Tuesday, April 24, Kent voters said ‘no’ to Proposition A, a police and criminal justice ballot measure that would have authorized the City to raise utility taxes from 6 percent to 8 percent on manufactured gas, natural gas, telephone and cable TV services.
The increased tax would have cost the average Kent household about $11 a month and raise approximately $4.8 million to fund 23 police officers and related criminal justice positions.
“Public safety is the city’s number one priority, so we are disappointed that Proposition A didn’t pass. We believe the community supports public safety, but other factors beyond our control worked against us,” said Mayor Dana Ralph. “On behalf of the City and the Kent Police Department, I want to thank Kent voters who said ‘yes’ to Prop A. We appreciate your support.”
Mayor Ralph said she would ask City Council to take the ballot measure back to voters later this year.
“Without this funding, we can’t provide the level of community policing that our residents want,” the mayor added.
Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas thanked his staff for continuing to work hard to protect the Kent community.
“The failure of this ballot measure means that our staffing levels will remain below those of neighboring communities,” said Chief Thomas. “In spite of that, the Kent Police Department is committed to doing the best we can with the resources we have.”
In the April 24 special election, as of 8:17 p.m. Tuesday night, 11,237 voters had returned their ballots with 4,640 (41.29 percent) in favor of Prop A and 6,597 (58.71 percent) against it, according to King County Elections.
Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority also put forth a proposition in the special election and had similar results.