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Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 9:20 p.m.

School levies passing in Arlington, Darrington, Edmonds, Granite Falls and Monroe

EVERETT -- School levy elections in the Arlington, Darrington, Edmonds, Granite Falls and Monroe school districts appear to be passing.
About 37,137 ballots were tallied countywide Tuesday. Another round of vote totals is scheduled to be announced at 5 p.m. Wednesday, though the percentages are unlikely to change much, said Snohomish County elections manager Garth Fell.
Earlier this month, Fell predicted a 36 percent voter turnout and anticipated that most of the ballots would be counted on election day. The number of ballots issued throughout the county was 132,268. The election is to be certified on Feb. 28.
State law requires that school districts periodically ask voters to consider renewal of the local property tax levy. The levies on the ballot were for replacements for property tax collection programs that expire this year. The tax that goes to schools is just a portion of a homeowner's property tax.
In Arlington, the levy was passing with 3,251 people voting in favor -- or about 58 percent of the vote -- with 2,341 or about 42 percent voting no. The school district plans to collect about $11.7 million a year or a total of about $47 million over the next four years to pay for programs such as technology, curriculum, transportation, special education, sports and performing arts. The tax rate during the four years will be about $3.53 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of a $300,000 house will pay about $1,059 a year through 2016.
In Darrington, 314 people or about 55 percent voted for the levy and 252 voted or about 45 percent voted against the proposed levy. The district's two-year, $2.6 million levy is to fund educational programs and operations. The annual rate of taxation during 2013 and 2014 will be about $3.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a $200,000 house will pay about $760 a year.
In the Edmonds School District, a four-year, $31.5 million school replacement technology and capital improvement levy was before voters in the district that includes Edmonds, Woodway, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Brier. Ballots counted Tuesday showed approval of the levy by a vote of 14,077 or 62 percent to 8,656 or 38 percent of the vote. The money is set to be used to fund classroom computer technology and make safety and building improvements. The levy is estimated to cost 44 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from 2013 through 2016. For the owner of a home assessed this year at $310,000, the cost is estimated to be $136 a year.
The Granite Falls district had two levies to bring to the voters: A two-year programs and operations levy and a two-year technology and capital projects levy.
Voters approved each by about a 60 percent majority. The operations levy approval led by 1,331 votes to 894 votes and the technology levy by 1,352 votes to 871. The levy amounts are about $4.45 million for programs and operations and $642,000 for computer technology. The rates are $3.32 per $1,000 of assessed value for operations over two years and 48 cents per $1,000 for the two-year technology levy. For the owner of a house in the district assessed this year at $210,000, the cost of the combined levies is about $798 in 2013.
Monroe's two-year, $31.9 million school programs and operations levy was passing Tuesday evening by 3,241 votes or about 55 percent to about 45 percent or 2,694 votes. The Monroe levy will pay for such programs as art, music and athletics. The levy will cost about $3.90 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2013 and $4.19 per $1,000 in 2014. For the owner of a house assessed this year at $280,000, the cost would be about $1,132 a year.
In addition, voters in Snohomish County Fire Protection District No. 28 in Index approved a measure to increase the fire district board from three members to five.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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