EVERETT — Results were finalized Friday for what turned out to be a close election for multiple school tax measures in Snohomish County.
More than 135,000 ballots were cast, a turnout of about 31 percent.
When voters see the proposal on the April 24 ballot, it’ll be a lower number. The Feb. 13 measure sought $3.48 per $1,000 assessed property value in 2019, up to $3.65 per $1,000 by 2022. The Darrington School Board on Thursday approved a resolution to ask in April for $1.50 per $1,000 for the next four years. That would amount to about $520,600 per year, roughly half of the previous levy request.
Though Darrington is the only local district where an operations levy failed, others came close. Plans were being made in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish to go back to voters after initial election results showed their measures trailing. Later ballot counts gave them a boost. Lake Stevens and Snohomish passed narrowly, with 50.4 and 50.3 percent approval, respectively. Marysville got 51.3 percent.
Local operations levies are now called enrichment levies. Basic education is meant to be covered by state taxes, but school officials say the state doesn’t cover everything that’s important for their communities.
Changes in state law took effect this year to address the McCleary court ruling, which requires billions of dollars more in state school funding. Property tax bills were expected to rise due to higher state taxes. Local levies are to be capped at lower rates starting in 2019, but there’s still a one-year tax hike for most homeowners, while property values also are increasing.
Eight school districts also proposed technology and capital levies. All passed.
Levies weren’t the only items on the ballot. Three districts sought bond measures to build, expand and upgrade schools. One of those — a $275 million bond for the Northshore School District — passed, with 60.8 percent of the vote. Bonds need 60 percent.
A $330.6 million bond in Everett and a $107.5 million bond in Arlington failed.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org