Criminal Justice Tax Proposal

In the August 2018 primary election, Marysville voters will be asked whether they support an additional 0.1% sales tax (one-tenth of one percent, or 10 cents on a $100 purchase) for criminal justice purposes. The City Council in April approved submitting this ballot measure for a public vote. 

If voters approve, the funds the city collects will be used to build a new Police Services Building including jail, replacing a facility built in 1986 that is undersized for our growing city's current and future needs. Ballots are due Aug. 7. 

CJ tax logo


The current Public Safety Building was built in 1986 and funded through a voter-approved bond that was paid off over 30 years. At time of voter approval, the city had about 8,000 residents. Today the city's population is 67,000 and the police department including jail has 100 employees. The building is undersized for the department's current needs. 

The city jail is one of only two misdemeanor jail facilities in Snohomish County and is an integral part of our city's public safety strategy and local criminal justice system. Without such a facility, our police would lose the ability to immediately arrest individuals for most misdemeanor crimes. 

The current facility does not meet the needs of a growing city. Marysville's population forecast for 2035 is 89,000. This has been one of the fastest growing cities in Washington for the past several years and is poised to maintain rapid growth over the next 20 years.


$23 million 


If voters approve, the Criminal Justice Tax would collect an additional one-tenth of one percent (or 10 cents on a $100 purchase) for public safety purposes. This could provide for $800,000 in annual revenues, about 70% of the estimated annual debt payment of $1.138 million for a 30-year General Obligation bond on a new Police Services Building. The City Council selected this potential funding mechanism because: 

  1. The measure requires voter approval, allowing Marysville residents to voice their opinions through the election process. 
  2. Sales tax is paid by both residents and visitors. Similarly, police response and jail needs are driven by both residents and non-residents. A sales tax-based approach provides for payment by a wider audience than property owners alone. 

The remaining $338,000, about 30% of the annual debt payment, would come from the city's General Fund. 

Project Description

  • Police Services Building (Police and Jail) - 46,058 square feet (sf)

    • Police personnel and public service portion - 26,786 sf with space for 110.5 personnel

    • Jail portion - 19,272 sf with 50 cells housing 110 inmates

The Police Services Building would be built on a six-acre site between Fourth and Eighth streets, east of the BNSF railroad tracks and west of Comeford Park. The building is planned to accommodate future growth needs. The proposed site was originally identified in the 2009 Downtown Master Plan as the preferred location for a civic campus after being studied along with two alternative locations (current City Hall and Public Works sites). The city owns the majority of the building site. 

In 2015 the city commissioned a public safety building facilities needs assessment and plan. The resulting budget and plan was beyond the city's financial resources. As a result, the city worked closely with the police department in 2016 to reexamine the public safety needs and forecast growth in police and jail. This resulted in the updated costs and streamlined square footage used in the current site and building assessment.


  • Architectural design and construction documents: May 2018 - February 2019
  • Project bid by February 2019
  • Construction begins spring 2019
  • Occupancy by 2020