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Thurston County, Washington

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Board of County Commissioners Vote to Include a Public Safety Tax on the Ballot for General Election

CONTACT:    Meghan Porter, Public Information Supervisor, 360-490-0562 or email at

OLYMPIA – On, July 27, 2023, the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) voted to include a resolution on the upcoming general election ballot for a public safety tax resulting in an increase in sales tax of two-tenths of one percent to be dedicated to supporting public safety in the county. The measure notes the distribution of 75% of the revenue generated to support law enforcement and 25% in associated prosecution services, public defense, and elections security infrastructure. 

“Thurston County Sheriff’s Office funding has proven unable to meet the demands of our community. With just 56 funded patrol deputies for an unincorporated population of more than 150,000 citizens, our resources have been stretched thin for decades. Our patrol division is overwhelmed with 9-1-1 calls on a daily basis and routinely respond to 9-1-1 calls alone, resulting in high call response times, increased crime, and increased risk to both the public and the employee,” said Thurston County Sheriff, Derek Sanders. “The public safety tax will fund at least 28 additional patrol deputies to ensure every district has two deputies working at all times. This funding will allow our deputies to regularly have backup on 9-1-1 calls, or thoroughly investigate crimes, and meet the expectations of our community as a full service Sheriff’s Office.” 

‘Con’ Statement:

The BoCC is looking for individuals interested in writing a ‘con’ statement in opposition of the ballot measure. The ‘con’ statement will be placed in the voters’ pamphlet and made available to all county voters during the general election. The ‘con’ statement must be received by August 8, 2023. 

Please contact Jamie Caldwell, Clerk of the Board, at 360-786-5447 or for more information or to submit a ‘con’ statement. 


Board of County Commissioners
Press Release

Questions and inquiries regarding News Release content should be directed to the Thurston County Public Information Officer:  

Meghan Porter


Anna Rhoads