More access to vital services | In Our Opinion

The Kitsap County Commission made the right decision last month to institute a 0.1 percent sales tax to help fund mental health programs in the county. The tax will become effective Jan. 1. It is expected to raise more than $3 million a year to make mental health services more available.

The commission has established a citizens advisory committee that will determine how the money will be spent. The committee will look at existing programs based on a "behavioral health assessment need" that is being created by a second group of law enforcement, courts and mental health experts.

During public meetings on the proposed tax, commissioners said they had seen first-hand the need for more mental health services in Kitsap County. Family members spoke about loved ones with mental illness who have been unable to get help.

Commissioner Rob Gelder said the tax is about “strategic investments … for the better health of our community."

A 0.1 percent sales tax is a small — and humane — investment that will yield major benefits for Kitsap’s communities.



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