Clark County voters reject body camera measurement
Clark County Council will likely have to go back to the drawing board to find funds for body and dash cameras for the sheriff’s office.
The initial results of Tuesday night’s election did not allow Proposition 10 to gain voter approval. The ballot measure had 55.93 percent of the vote against the measure at 44.07 percent in favor.
Proposition 10 would create a sales tax of 0.1 percent (or one-tenth of 1 percent). But rather than directly funding the purchase and support of body and on-board cameras, the tax would instead have paid for existing services for minors and prisons. Then the money from the general fund that would have gone to these services would go instead to the body camera program.
This funding structure may have been its downfall. Chuck Green, who sits on the county’s Charter Review Board, said some voters he spoke to believed the county was playing a “shell game” with the funding.
In addition, “this county has been fiscally stingy for a long time,” Green added.
The departmental council had considered two options to increase income. The first option was a public safety tax, which would also have been 0.1 percent. Under this option, the tax would generate the necessary increase in revenues to “provide essential legal and judicial services in Clark County, including body-worn cameras,” according to the county. However, this option would have required the county to share the revenues with the towns within the county.
With 25,000 ballots to count, the proposal could still pass. If passed, the tax would be in effect for 10 years from April 1, 2022 and expire on March 31, 2032. It would raise around $ 6 million per year and pay for equipment costs, as well as training. , data storage needs. , employees to process public document requests and discovery requests, and additional expenses for the prosecutor’s office and the indigent advocacy program, according to a staff report. Taxes collected over a 10-year period are expected to cover program expenses for 30 years.
It is not known what the county will do if the measure fails. The county has previously said it has no money in the general fund to pay for the body and dashboard cameras and that it will be up to voters to pay for them.
Be sure to check out www.columbian.com for updated election results.