Voters Decide Fate of Justice Tax - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Voters Decide Fate of Justice Tax

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WASHINGTON--  On this year's ballot, it's another tax hike.  but it's not being written off so quickly; it's the brainchild of the Citizens Advisory Group for Criminal Justice.

"For me it's a quality of life and safety issue," says Bob Quay, Co-Chair of the Advisory Group.  "I would gladly pay that increase in sales tax if I knew that it was going to give me a lot safer community."

It's called Benton County Proposition Number One, but you might know it better by it's nickname: the Justice Tax.   Here's what it aims to do: increase local sales tax by two-tenths of one percent.  In simpler terms, it equals two cents for every ten dollar sale.  The extra money would be put toward improving public safety; more police officers, less courtroom hassle and better mental health treatment programs, all areas Quay says need immediate attention.

"There is still quite a shortage of police officers in all jurisdictions, so that's definitely needed.

It fell short last year by roughly two percentage points.  And it should come as no surprise with such an uncertain economy, some voters are finding it harder and harder to part with any amount of money.  So we decided to camp outside and get a feel on the issue.  In one hour, we couldn't find anyone that would vote against it.

"two cents for what it would do, contribute to the community and stuff, I would have no trouble paying 2 more cents."

"If it's going for a worthy cause, I would do that, yes."

"I think I would definitely consider voting for it."