Yakima County passed a Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, and Therapeutic Court Programs sales tax in October 2019 via Ordinance 8-2019, in accordance with RCW 82.14.460.
Moneys collected under this tax must be used solely for the purpose of providing for the operation or delivery of chemical dependency or mental health treatment programs and services and for the operation or delivery of therapeutic court programs and services. "Programs and services" includes, but is not limited to, treatment services, case management, transportation, and housing that are a component of a coordinated chemical dependency or mental health treatment program or service.
The passage of this tax requires that Yakima County establish and operate a therapeutic court component for dependency proceedings designed to be effective for the court's size, location, and resources.
Use of Mental Health Sales Tax Funds
As there is a considerable need in Yakima County for mental health resources, the Board of County Commissioners has determined that it is fiscally prudent to fully explore priorities with a varied group of stakeholders and experts before determining the best long-term use of the moneys collected under this tax. The Department of Human Services, building off of previous work done in 2017 by the Yakima County Courts, has launched this effort through the development of the Criminal Justice, Youth Systems of Care, and Homeless Response Systems Mapping Reports. These reports are being used to inform strategic decision making regarding the allocation of funds. Details and full reports can be found here.