Tax measures pass in Lynnwood and Fire District 1, fail in Woodway

By Evan Smith

Tax measures on the Nov. 8 general election ballot have passed in Lynnwood and Fire District 1, and failed in Woodway.

Voters in Lynnwood have passed a transportation benefit district sales-and-use tax for transportation improvements by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin in votes counted through Thursday, Nov. 17.

Voters in Snohomish County Fire District 1 have re-authorized a regular property-tax levy by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin. Fire District 1 includes unincorporated areas from Everett to the Snohomish-King county line. The cities of Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier get service from Fire District 1 by contract, but those cities are not part of the district. Neither is Lynnwood, whose fire chief now is also chief of Fire District 1.

In Woodway, voters turned down a levy to support police, fire and emergency medical services by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin.

In Lynnwood, City Councilman and Transportation Benefit District Board President Ian Cotton said Wednesday that the levy passed because voters “heard the facts from our Public Works Department that we needed a dedicated source of revenue to help maintain our roads.

“I think they heard that message and largely responded to it. I am excited for even those that opposed the ballot measure get to see what great things our public works department will now be able to do in terms of much needed road maintenance. This will benefit all of us.”

He said that most money would go toward road overlays and maintenance, adding, “There might be some opportunities for other improvements like ADA ramp updates but the core use will be directed to maintaining the roads we’ve already got.”

Fire District 1 Board Chairman Jim McGaughey said that the renewed levy will allow the district to maintain and improve services and to hire more firefighters to help keep response times down as call volumes increase.

In Woodway, Mayor Carla Nichols said residents rejected the town’s levy-rate proposal because they didn’t want property taxes raised. She said that the town council and staff are reviewing the proposed 2017 budget and future budgets to identify areas to reduce.

“I will be proposing that the current level of certain municipal services will be reduced or eliminated,” Nichols said. “We are in the middle of our research to finalize proposals for our council to consider.”

County officials plan to post updated election results Friday afternoon and certify final results Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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