A hastily scheduled midday Tuesday Puyallup City Council meeting designed to allow the city to collect an additional $2 million sales tax to help the homeless has been canceled.
The council was to consider an additional one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax at the 12:30 p.m. meeting to help pay for homelessness prevention and treatment programs in that city.
The city had set the emergency meeting because it feared that the Pierce County Council would act first at its 3 p.m. Tuesday meeting to impose that new tax and wouldn’t share its proceeds with Puyallup. If the county passed the tax first, Puyallup couldn’t pass its own version of the tax.
Puyallup Mayor John Hopkins said the meeting was originally set as a precaution preventing the county from collecting the homeless tax in Puyallup.
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But Pierce County Council Chairman Doug Richardson said Tuesday the council has no intention of considering the tax until next month. The Puyallup Council was needlessly alarmed, he said, because of a County Council agenda item to schedule a committee review of the tax proposal.
Puyallup has been under citizen pressure to address a growing population of homeless people, as well as associated drug use and inappropriate public behavior. Homelessness prevention advocates claim the city is taking too punitive an approach to the issue.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663