Yakima City officials are pushing people to remove graffiti as soon as possible saying it can drive violent crime. City leaders like Yakima Police Cheif Matthew Murray says graffiti is one of the primary forms of communication among gangs and the faster it's removed the safer the community. A recent change in the city code pushes owners to remove graffiti or face a fine. But the city says fining graffiti victims is the last resort. Instead the city is providing incentives to cover the graffiti.

A news release says Sherwin-Williams Paint Store at 1230 South 1st Street is offering a community discount coupon on paint if it has been determined you are a victim of graffiti within the city limits of Yakima. The release says you must report the graffiti by submitting a Yak Back request to have a Code Compliance Officer verify the graffiti and provide you with a coupon. The city will also provide paint and a roller if you can't afford to purchase paint and supplies. The third option is to request graffiti be painted over by city officials. Police say that option isn't a guaranteed service and may not be available at the time of request.
They say if none of the options are used a $25 penalty may be assessed if graffiti is not removed 10 days after a Notice of Intent has been issued. But city officials say that's that last resort.
The preferred method of communication about graffiti is through the City Yak Back program https://www.yakimawa.gov/yak-back/ You can also call the Graffiti Hotline at (509) 575-3550.

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