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King County voters to decide arts sales tax in August

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SEATTLE (AP) _ King County voters will decide in August whether to raise the county sales tax to pay for arts, culture and science programs.

The Metropolitan King County Council, voting 7 to 2 Monday, approved placing the “Access for All” measure on the August primary ballot.

The proposal would increase the sales tax by 0.1 percent, or 1 cent for every $10 spent. It would raise $67 million a year with more than 300 arts, science and cultural organizations receiving money.

The Seattle Times says ( ) late amendments that created funding and cultural centers for areas of the county outside Seattle helped it win approval. The full council took up the vote after the measure failed to make it out of the finance committee.

Two councilmembers who opposed the proposal raised concerns about equity and whether the arts should be the highest priority at a time of other pressing needs.