It appears voters have approved the Sno-Isle Libraries levy

The two-county measure is passing, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent — a widening margin.

EVERETT — It’s close, but Sno-Isle Libraries is poised to get its levy increase.

Passage of a measure to boost the levy in the two-county library system appeared certain Thursday following another tally of ballots.

It is leading by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent with the next release of results expected Friday afternoon.

Overall, there are 60,234 “yes” votes and 59,243 “no” votes, a difference of 991. There doesn’t appear to be many ballots left to count. Snohomish County election officials Thursday reported only having five ballots to tally.

Nonetheless, Sno-Isle Libraries Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory wasn’t ready to declare victory.

“While the numbers are still very close, the margin is widening,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Given the number of ballots that election officials say remain to be counted, we are cautiously optimistic about the outcome.”

This has been a nail-biter of an election.

On Tuesday, the measure was losing. Support edged up to 50.2 percent with Wednesday’s ballot count and climbed a tad higher Thursday.

Voters in the two counties have different attitudes on the measure.

Snohomish County, which has the majority of voters, is turning it down. The “yes” vote stands at 48 percent which is a slight improvement from Election Night.

It is strongly backed in Island County, where the measure is passing with 61.7 percent of the vote.

If the results hold, the measure will add 9 cents to the current library property tax levy in 2019. It will increase the levy rate to 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The 9-cent increase would cost the owner of a $300,000 home $27 more a year.

Sno-Isle Libraries receives 98 percent of its funding from a property-tax levy across most of Snohomish and all of Island counties. The district does not include Everett, which has its own library system.

Voters last approved a levy increase in 2009. Library officials pledged then to not seek another rate hike for at least five years. Stretching that pledge to nine years came by way of careful planning and prudent budgeting, Woolf-Ivory said.

“We will continue with that same thoughtful approach to our stewardship of public funds,” Woolf-Ivory said. “We know that voting for property taxes is tough. This is a very close election and we’re mindful of the feelings and concerns of those who didn’t vote ‘yes.’ ”

Sno-Isle leaders were projecting $2 million in cuts for 2019 if the levy failed and additional reductions in 2020 and subsequent years.

Sno-Isle Libraries operates nearly two dozen community libraries, bookmobile, outreach and online services available to more than 743,000 people across Snohomish and Island counties. More than 476,000 library cardholders use a variety of services annually.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

16,000 fentanyl pills, pounds of meth, heroin seized in bust

Eight suspects were indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle, including five from Snohomish County.

Amethyst Skeels and Alexander Walsh pick out cannabis products at Kushman's Everett Cannabis Dispensary on Evergreen Way on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cannabis sales surge, proving pot is pandemic-proof

There are more customers, and some regulars are stocking up — just in case there’s a shortage.

Controlled explosion rattles Cathcart and much of the county

Deputies were investigating a 19-year-old who had an “enormous amount of fireworks” near Silver Lake.

Police: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run may have used marijuana

The Lynnwood man allegedly didn’t stop to check on a pedestrian whom he hit with a pickup truck.

Lynnwood man in custody after pedestrian is killed in crash

The sheriff’s office said detectives are investigating the suspect for DUI, hit and run, and vehicular homicide.

Driver arrested after allegedly hitting woman in crosswalk

The suspect was driving an SUV on Highway 99 in Lynnwood and is under investigation for DUI.

Santa Claus is coming to town, despite the coronavirus

He’ll follow social distancing. In one setting, children are invited to “call out” their wishes.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney on July 29. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Group behind sheriff recall fined for campaign violations

A panel levied a $300 fine on a group led by Snohomish County attorneys. Meanwhile, another recall effort fizzled.

The 2021 Historic Everett calendar focuses on the city’s railroad past, present and future. (Historic Everett, Jack O’Donnell collection photo)
A nostalgic glimpse at how trains shaped Everett

“There is a romance to it,” says a Historic Everett member who researched railroads for a 2021 calendar.

Most Read