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Thurston County Elections  
General Election - November 6, 2012
Introduction to Local Measure

This page contains a local measure certified to appear on the November 6, 2012, General Election ballot. Only voters residing in the City of Olympia will be eligible to vote on this measure.

For each measure in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, the legislative authority of the jurisdiction placing the measure on the ballot is required to formally appoint committees to prepare statements advocating the approval and rejection of the measure. If the jurisdiction is unable to make such appointments, the Thurston County Auditor advertises for such appointments.

The Auditor’s Office encourages you to thoroughly review all statements and seek additional information from the jurisdictions, the appointed citizens’ committees, and the local and regional media.

  Please Note: Statements are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for factual or grammatical accuracy by the Auditor’s Office.  

City of Olympia - Proposition No. 1 - Sales and Use Tax Increase of 0.1% for
Public Safety and Criminal Justice Purposes

Only voters residing within City of Olympia will vote on this measure.
  Ballot Title:     Explanatory Statement:  

The City Council of the City of Olympia adopted Resolution No. M-1780 concerning a sales and use tax increase pursuant to RCW 82.14.450. If approved, this proposition would authorize the City to impose an additional sales and use tax of 0.1%, split between the City (85%) and Thurston County (15%) as required by state law. City proceeds shall be used for public safety and criminal justice purposes as allowed by RCW 82.14.450.

Should this proposition be:
Oval   Approved
Oval   Rejected

This measure proposes a sales and use tax increase within the City of Olympia for public safety and criminal justice purposes. If approved, an additional sales and use tax of one-tenth of one percent would be imposed pursuant to RCW 82.14.450. The tax proceeds will be split between the City (85%) and Thurston County (15%). City proceeds shall be used for public safety and criminal justice purposes to ensure that use of the tax proceeds complies with RCW 82.14.450.

Criminal justice purposes are defined in RCW 82.14.340 as “activities that substantially assist the criminal justice system, which may include circumstances where ancillary benefit to the civil justice system occurs, and which includes domestic violence services such as those provided by domestic violence programs, community advocates, and legal advocates, as defined in RCW 70.123.020.”

City proceeds are expected to be used to continue existing public safety services, such as neighborhood crime prevention, domestic violence prosecution, and the downtown ambassador program, and to add additional public safety services such as a downtown walking patrol.

Statement prepared by: Tom C. Morrill, City Attorney for Olympia

  Statement For:     Statement Against:  

The city has already cut its budget
Five years in a row, the city has reduced services across every department, including cutting 59 jobs and imposing salary freezes - without any new taxes. The police department took its share: 6 officer positions cut, downtown walking patrol eliminated, plus cuts in support staff, leaving fewer officers to respond to more calls. Only after these painful reductions did the city consider increasing revenue.

You can maintain and restore community safety programs
Planned budget cuts next year include victim’s assistance in domestic violence cases, school resource officers, harbor patrol, the Westside police station, and anti-graffiti efforts. Your vote will help preserve these essential services. Plus, to make downtown Olympia more welcoming for everyone, the city will restore the walking patrol and support social service referrals for homeless people through the new downtown ambassador program. The police will also be better able to tackle neighborhood crime through emphasis patrols and block watch programs.

This is the best available tax
The tax is one cent per $10 purchase. Purchases of food and prescriptions are exempt. Visitors who buy things in Olympia will contribute.

Safety benefits for the entire community
Neighborhood leaders, small business owners, and social service advocates alike support this measure because it takes a comprehensive, inclusive approach to public safety. No matter who you are or where in Olympia you live, your community will be safer. Everyone will contribute a little bit to improving our community’s security. Please vote to Approve Proposition 1.

Statement submitted by: Peter Guttchen, Jill Severn, and Paul Seabert.


The City of Olympia has a deficit shortfall which has been caused by tough economic times and made worse by poor spending decisions.

If the city has a critical need for additional public safety services, the City Council needs to make different spending choices. The recent choice to give away a $2 million building for $1 is only one recent example. Earlier examples include $70,000 decorative wood poles for roundabouts, $1500 for painted benches, and now they are going to spend millions to buy more land for another park - and they can’t take care of the parks we already own. Typically, all but one councilmember has enthusiastically supported these expenditures.

Supporting this tax is rewarding bad behavior and ensuring more bad spending choices in the future. The city has nickeled and dimed the residents - rich and poor alike - for years, as businesses leave Olympia. Now they want more of our limited money?

In these tough economic times, we have all cut back on our expenses. We need to send a message to our City Council to do the same. Please vote No to raising our taxes and stop the irresponsible spending.

Statement submitted by: Glen Morgan, Ken McClarty, and Lucille Carlson


  Rebuttal of the Statement For:     Rebuttal of the Statement Against:  

According to Olympia’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, from 2007 to 2011, the city’s budget for Governmental Activities (excluding utilities expenditures) increased 13.7%.

If the city needs a larger budget increase, taxpayers would be better served by city policies that encourage more new construction, more business, and more customers into the city. The result would be more property tax dollars and sales tax dollars without this rate increase. Vote No and send the city a message.


The Against statement is full of misrepresentations. For example, the building being “given away” will house homeless families with children at a value that far exceeds the actual value of the building. This is a time to invest in our community, not play false blame-game politics as in the Against statement.

The simple fact is: approving this ballot measure will fund crucial public services and make our community safer. Vote yes for public safety!

Statements are written by the "for" and "against" committee members, who are solely responsible for the content therein.