Facebook Twitter

Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST)

Initiation of Tax

In August of 2014, voters in Benton County approved a county wide increase of 0.3% to the sales and use tax rate for public safety. The new tax rate was implemented in January of 2015 and is dedicated towards current and future criminal justice needs within Benton County including the hiring of additional police officers, corrections officers, and prosecutors; funding for the Metro Drug Task Force and gang and crime prevention efforts. The tax will also fund court and clerk programs including a seventh Superior Court Judge and drug and mental health courts.

Lag Time

Because there is a two month lag from the time retail sales tax is collected on a taxable transaction by a business to the time it is received by the state and local governments, Benton County and cities within the County received their first distribution of the new criminal justice sales tax in March of 2015.

Public Safety

Under State statute, Benton County will receive 60% of the proceeds generated from the public safety sales tax. Cities within Benton County will then share the remaining 40%, which will be allocated based on population. Under this formula, the City of Prosser anticipates that it will receive roughly 4% of the portion of public safety sales tax that will be allocated to cities based on population, or 1% of the total proceeds generated.

Programs

The City plans to use its portion of public safety sales tax towards 2 new Police Officer positions and other necessary equipment and training required for these positions.

Community Safety

Community safety and responsible government are two of the Prosser City Council's highest priorities. With that in mind, the City wants to be as transparent as possible in reporting back to the community how this important public safety funding source is being used. The following reports are prepared annually and provide an accounting of the revenue the City has received to date, and the program expenditures that revenue has been utilized for.