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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Barbara Burgener, Treatment Sales Tax Program Manager, 360-867-2092

Thurston County Commissioners Award Treatment Sales Tax Funds

OLYMPIA - The Board of Thurston County Commissioners recently awarded financial grants from the Treatment Sales Tax fund to two community organizations. Both grants are focused on assisting youth in our community with mental health and/or chemical dependency issues.

Community Youth Services was awarded $45, 685 to provide mental health services and intensive case management to homeless young adults on the wait list for transitional housing programs. Services will be provided to young adults using two evidence-based practices/programs:

  • Motivational Interviewing: a collaborative, person-centered approach to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.
  • Seven Challenges: a conversational technique used with youth who have substance abuse and/or mental health issues to assist them in making decisions and following through on them.

A second grant for $31,433 was awarded to Olympia School District's Project SUCCESS: (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) which is designed to prevent and reduce substance abuse among middle and high students. Used with high-risk students along with chemical dependency treatment to provide tools to deal with discipline problems, truancy, negative attitudes towards school and includes parent involvement.The funds are a result of a recent Request for Proposals that was shared with the community.

In 2008, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners passed a 1/10 of one percent sales tax ordinance to increase funds available for mental health and chemical dependency services and therapeutic courts. By enacting a "Treatment Sales Tax" (TST), the County has been able to enhance funding for diversion and intervention services that have helped contain the growth of the jail population and maintain, create or enhance services for individuals who are mentally ill, chemically dependent or who have co-occurring disorders. For services offered in 2010 and 2011 the county was able to realize an $18.5 million return on investment.

All programs funded by the Treatment Sales Tax are involved in a comprehensive evaluation plan. Residents of Thurston County, asked to pay additional taxes deserve documentation of the needs and benefits of the use of those tax dollars. Each individual program includes outcome measures, performance measures and targets, a schedule for evaluation and improvement and site visits by staff from the Commissioners' office. Funding is for one year with no guarantee of renewal. Each year programs and funding recommendations are reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners with final decisions a result of the annual budget process. For more information please check out the TST website http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/treatment-tax/index.htm



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3