Voters in Pierce County approved Proposition 1, a 0.1 percent sales tax increase, in November 2011 to fund the consolidation and collocation of 911 centers in the county, including the construction of a new public safety communications center (PSCC).
The project is funded by the issuance of limited tax general obligation bonds, as decreed in Pierce County Ordinance 2019-46. Since South Sound 911 does not have the taxing authority to collect tax money, Pierce County collects the sales tax revenue and distributes it to South Sound 911 (less any debt for bonds).
The collected sales tax serves as the “security or payment mechanism” for any bonds issued by the County on South Sound 911’s behalf. Even though South Sound 911 may use the tax revenue for other purposes (such as operations, radio access fee support, etc.), the first priority is the payment of any debt for radio capital and facility capital.
Originally estimated to cost $65 million to construct, the PSCC is under budget at $59 million. Bond proceeds to support the reduced budget of $59 million were received by Pierce County on Sept. 25, 2019.