Bill supported by Hawkins would allow local sales tax to fund police

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Senate Republicans are proposing a bill to allow local sales taxes or use taxes to fund police departments.

Sen. Brad Hawkins of East Wenatchee is among the sponsors of Senate Bill 5841.

If it becomes law, cities and counties would be able to charge a 0.1 percent sales tax, and spend the revenues to hire more police officers.

The money could also be used to fund domestic violence, homelessness or other intervention programs, but only if the municipality already has a police force as large as the national average per capita.

Senators introduced the bill last week.