Kitsap County approves mental health tax

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SEATTLE — Kitsap County commissioners on Monday approved a 0.1 percent sales tax dedicated for local mental health services, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The money will be used toward new programs approved by a citizen advisory committee, including initiatives addressing local health needs, chemical dependency and mental health disorders.

The tax — equivalent to a penny on a $10 purchase — will be collected after Jan. 1. Normal sales tax exemptions on food will still apply. Commissioners passed the ordinance after listening to testimony at two public hearings.

According to the Sun, Commissioner Rob Gelder was personally touched by the stories of people struggling with mental health issues in Kitsap County.

“One thing I realized during my own personal soul-searching is that everyone’s lives have been touch[ed] by mental health issues in one way or another,” Gelder said.

Read more from the Kitsap Sun here.

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