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Stanwood voters OK sales tax hike for roads

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By Gale Fiege
Herald Writer
STANWOOD -- Sales tax in the city is set to rise by 0.2 percent in July, with revenues going to a city transportation benefit district approved by voters on Tuesday night.
The taxing district will fund city street repair and preservation. About a third of Stanwood voters participated in the special election, with 675 or 68 percent supporting the tax increase and 317 or 32 percent voting against it.
Starting this summer, people who spend $10 in the city can expect to pay an extra 2 cents of sales tax. The current sales tax rate is 8.6 percent. In 2014, the city expects that tax will generate about $200,000 for road work.
City officials are pleased with the election results.
"It's great," said city administrator Deborah Knight. "Especially considering this was the only thing on the special election ballot in all of Snohomish County. We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming voter support for street improvements and the city's infrastructure."
The city won't see any money from the state Department of Revenue until September, so people should not expect to see a lot of street work this summer in Stanwood, Knight said.
Stanwood previously had been taking money out of its capital reserves for street repair projects, Knight said. The City Council considered other funding sources, but concluded that people who come to Stanwood for business should share in the burden to pay for streets. Because Stanwood, with a population of about 6,500, is a hub for schools and services, the number of people in the city grows significantly during the day.
The next ballot tabulation update issued by the Snohomish County elections office is set for 1 p.m. Friday.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;
Story tags » Stanwood

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