Commissioners to resume sales tax talks

Although commissioners can take action at the meeting, they don't feel they are ready to issue a decision.

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WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla County commissioners will resume discussion of a proposed sales tax increase Monday.

The proposed one-tenth of 1 percent increase would be used to increase funds for mental health and substance abuse services. Commissioners are scheduled to reopen their discussion at 11 a.m. at the county Public Health and Legislative Building, 314 W. Main St.

No further testimony or comments will be accepted, as the public hearing to take input has closed.

Although commissioners can take action on the issue, commissioners Greg Tompkins and Gregg Loney said in separate interviews Friday they did not feel they were ready to move on the issue yet.

"From my standpoint, I wouldn't look for a decision at this point," Loney said. He said he wants a better understanding as to how any excess money would be used and how the county Department of Human Services would be advised on what should be done with the funds.

According to county Human Services Director Daryl Daugs, the tax increase would raise between $700,000 and $800,000 per year. The money would fund at least two psychiatric nurse practitioners and one substance abuse specialist at the county level.

The state law that allows counties to implement the tax was enacted by the state Legislature in 2005.

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