Japanese Gulch tax fails to reach 60% mark

MUKILTEO — A ballot measure for the city to buy land in Japanese Gulch appeared headed to defeat, falling short of the 60 percent majority the property tax measure needed to pass.

Proposition 1 gained about 56 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent against — 3,401 to 2,711— but that won’t be enough.

“We’ve got a majority of residents who are behind saving the gulch, that’s what’s important, and a strong majority,” said City Councilwoman Jennifer Gregerson, who campaigned for the measure as a private citizen.

Proponents said Proposition 1 was needed to buy 98 acres on the west side of the gulch they believe could be sold for development. The gulch is a popular hiking spot. The privately owned property is zoned for light industry.

Opponent Charlie Pancerzewski, who wrote the statement against the measure for the voters’ pamphlet, said the tax increase would unfairly benefit people who visit the gulch from outside the city, and would not guarantee that Mukilteo could buy the property to prevent development.

Property owners were asked to pay 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — $60 per year for the owner of a $300,000 home — for five years.

The property is owned by Metropolitan Creditors Trust, a bankrupt Spokane mortgage company. The city currently owns 25 acres nearby, but Boeing and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad own most of the large ravine, which straddles the border between Everett and the north end of Mukilteo near the Boeing plant.

The cost of the property targeted in Proposition 1 is estimated at about $6.5 million. The tax would have raised about $3.2 million, a little more than half the cost.

“Either way we have to pursue grant funding, so we have to keep that up,” Gregerson said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

In Sultan, there was a seat at the table for everyone

Every year, the town’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving.

Most Read