KUOW – Marcie Sillman

Tacoma has done what King County couldn’t: Residents have passed a sales tax to fund arts and cultural projects in the city.

More than 60 percent of Tacoma voters said yes to the tax, a penny per every $10 purchase. Advocates for the new tax, a coalition called Creative Tacoma, estimate the measure will generate $5 million a year.

The money will be administered by Tacoma’s Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality, with oversight from a citizens’ advisory group.

In August of 2017, King County voters narrowly rejected a similar measure that would have helped fund cultural and heritage organizations as well as such attractions as the Woodland Park Zoo.

Tacoma’s new culture tax, however, is the first the state has seen since 2015, when the Legislature gave local governments the power to put these kinds of measures before voters.

The tax goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

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