Whatcom County voters face sales tax hike for new jail

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Whatcom County voters for the second time in as many years are tasked with approving or denying a two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax to fund a new jail.

The Bellingham Herald reports that voters on Nov. 7 will decide on the tax, which would mean shoppers would pay 20 cents of every $100 spent on non-food purchases toward the 480-bed jail, until the tax ends in 2048.

All seven cities in Whatcom County have endorsed a financing agreement for building the jail in Ferndale, which could cost more than $110 million.

A similar proposal failed 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent in November 2015, but the Bellingham City Council refused to endorse the jail plan at the time.

The City Council is supporting the plan this time around.