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2011 General Election Ballot Guide: Washington

Statewide measures 

  • (+) Initiative 1125 on the statewide ballot would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund revenue and vehicle toll revenue for non-transportation purposes, and require that road and bridge tolls be set by the Legislature and be project-specific.
  • (+) Initiative 1163 on the statewide ballot would require workers providing long-term care to meet certain training requirements in 2012 instead of 2014, as current law prescribes. The Initiative also requires additional criminal background checks for long-term care workers. In addition, I-1163 contains provisions to enhance audits of the programs and administrative caps to keep costs low.
  • (+) Initiative 1183 on the statewide ballot would close state liquor stores and sell their assets, license private parties to sell and distribute spirits, set license fees based on sales, regulate licensees, and change regulation of wine distribution.
  • (+) SJR 8206, a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot, would require the transfer of additional funds to the budget stabilization account if the state has received “extraordinary revenue growth.” The proposed amendment would strengthen the constitutional savings account that voters enacted in 2007, and would provide additional stability to the state’s budget outlook.

 

Asotin County 

Countywide measures

  • Asotin County residents will vote on a renewal of an existing levy. This measure would not increase the current burden on taxpayers.

Local measures

  • (–) Voters in the City of Asotin will decide on a one-year special levy of $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value, totaling about $30,000 in higher revenue, to pay for emergency medical services.
  • (–) Residents in the City of Clarkston will vote on a one-year tax increase of $1.27 per $1,000 of assessed property value, totaling about $486,834 in higher revenue, for emergency medical services.

 

Chelan County 

Local measures

  • (–) Voters in the Chelan County Fire Protection District No. 6 will decide on a measure to permanently increase the district’s property tax levy to $0.78 per $1,000 of assessed value to be used for all future levy limit calculations.
  • (–) In the Manson Parks and Recreation District, Proposition No. 1 will determine whether or not a three-year property tax of $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed value will pass in order to pay for operations and maintenance.

 

Clark County 

Local measures

  • (–) Residents in the Clark County Transportation Benefit Area Authority will vote to approve a permanent 0.2 percent sales tax increase, on top of the current 0.5 percent sales tax, in order to fund bus service.

 

Cowlitz County 

Local measures

  • (–) Voters in the City of Woodland will decide on a proposition to impose an additional sales and use tax of 0.1 percent, split between the city (85 percent) and Cowlitz and Clark Counties (15 percent). City proceeds shall be used to construct a new police facility. The tax will expire after the costs of the police facility are fully repaid.

 

Franklin County 

Countywide measures

  • (–) Proposition 1 on the countywide ballot would increase the sales and use tax in Franklin County by 0.3 percent for operation of the County jail and to support criminal justice programs.

Local measures

  • (–) Voters in the City of Connell will decide on a permanent property tax increase of $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for parks and recreation funding.

 

Grant County 

Local measures

  • (–) Wilson Creek Cemetery District residents will vote on a levy of $0.22 per $1,000 of assessed value, totaling $8,000, in order to fund a portion of the district’s operations and maintenance budget.

 

Island County

Countywide measures

  • Island County residents will vote on a renewal of an existing levy. This measure would not increase the current burden on taxpayers.

 

Jefferson County 

Local measures

  • (–) City of Port Townsend residents will vote on permanently increasing the fire protection mill levy from $2.05 to $2.48 per $1,000 of assessed value.

 

King County 

Local measures

  • (–) City of Carnation residents will decide a six-year proposition to increase the property tax rate from $1.29 to $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in order to fund criminal justice services, and to help fill the city’s monetary reserves.
  • (–) City of Des Moines residents will vote on a measure which increases the current 6 percent utility occupation tax to 9 percent. The tax hike would authorize: 1 percent for Beach Park Historic District capital projects for 20 years or until capital bonds are repaid; 0.5 percent for Beach Park maintenance and operations; and 1.5 percent for street paving improvements.
  • (–) Residents in the North Bend Transportation Benefit District will vote on a sales and use tax increase of 0.2 percent for 10 years to pay off accumulated debt.
  • (–) Residents in the City of Pacific will vote on Proposition No. 1 to increase the property tax to a total rate of $1.66 per $1,000 of assessed value for street repairs.
  • (–) Voters in Seattle will decide Proposition No. 1, a renewal of current property levies plus a tax increase of roughly $32,000,000 per year or $230,000,000 over seven years.
  • (–) Voters in the Seattle Transportation Benefit District will vote on authorizing a $60 increase in the Vehicle Licensing Fee, raising $20,400,000 over 10 years for transportation systems.
  • (–) Shoreline School District residents will vote on a tax increase of $4,200,000 over three years. This levy would be in addition to the maintenance and operation support levy passed in February 2010.
  • (+) Si View Metropolitan District residents will vote on Proposition No. 1 which would protect $0.25 of the district’s existing levy on $1,000 of assessed property value from being reallocated to other taxing districts within King County for a period of six years.
  • (–) Si View Metropolitan District voters will decide on Proposition No. 2 which establishes a one-year levy on all taxable property within the district at an approximate rate of $0.21 per $1,000. This tax hike would total roughly $462,000.

 

Kitsap County 

Countywide measures

  • (–) Kitsap County voters will decide Proposition No. 1 to increase its property tax by from $1.10 to $1.15 per $1,000 of assessed value for five years in order to fund capital facilities and services, with half of the proceeds supporting veterans, military personnel and their families, and the other half supporting other families in need.

 

Lincoln County 

Local measures

  • (–) Residents in Fire District 6 will be asked to pass a special levy of $100,000 for four years to finance new fire fighting vehicles and equipment.

 

Pacific County 

Countywide measures

  • (–) Voters in Pacific County will decide on a levy of $0.89 per $1,000 of assessed property value in order to subsidize ambulance and emergency medical services.

 

Pend Oreille County

Local measures

  • (–) City of Newport residents will vote on a proposition to authorize an increase of the regular property tax from its current level of $1.96 to a rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value in order to pay for street repairs.
  • (–) Voters in Selkirk School District No. 70 will decide on a capital levy issue to raise taxes $750,000 annually for two years to expand Selkirk Junior-Senior High School in order to consolidate grades K-12.

 

Pierce County

Countywide measures

  • (–) Proposition No.1 on the countywide ballot would authorize a 0.1 percent sales and use tax to fund the county’s 9-1-1 system.

Local measures

  • (–) City of Pacific voters will decide Proposition No. 1, which would raise the total property tax levy to $1.66 per $1,000 of assessed value for street repairs.
  • (–) Residents in the Town of South Prairie will vote on a measure to impose a new $0.50 per $1,000 property tax levy for six years for the purpose of providing emergency services.
  • (–) Town of Wilkinson voters will be asked to decide a measure which would impose a new property tax levy of $0.25 per $1,000 for six years for the purpose of providing emergency services.

 

San Juan County

Countywide measures

  • (–) Proposition No. 1 on the countywide ballot would extend real estate excise tax paid by the purchaser, in the amount of one percent of the purchase price, for an additional 12 years for the acquisition and maintenance of conservation areas. 
  • (–) Proposition No. 2 on the countywide ballot will impose a new user charge for 15 years on property owners to pay for expenses relating to solid waste disposal and recycling. Presently, the management of solid waste disposal and recycling services are paid for based upon the weight or volume of items that are brought to the county facilities using what is called “tipping fees.” If this measure is adopted, a solid waste user charge will be assessed and paid by property owners in addition to existing fees.
  • San Juan County residents will vote on a renewal of an existing levy. This measure would not increase the current burden on taxpayers.

Local measures

  • (–) Orcas Island School District residents will vote on a property tax increase of $0.28 per $1,000 of assessed value for one year, a tax hike of roughly $900,000.

 

Skamania County

Local measures

  • (–) Fire District No. 5 residents will decide on a measure which would allow the district to increase its levy to $0.90 per $1,000 of assessed property value to fund maintenance and operations.
  • (–) Residents in Skamania School District No. 2 will vote on raising property taxes by $175,000 per year for two years to offset overspending.

 

Snohomish County

Local measures

  • (–) Monroe City residents will be asked to increase the current city sales tax by 0.1 percent in order to fund additional police officers for the city as well as equipment upgrades as needed.
  • (–) Edmonds City residents will vote on three separate tax increases. Voters will be asked to decide whether or not to increase both the public safety and street repair levies by $0.17 per $1,000 of assessed property value each. Residents will also decide on increasing the parks levy by $0.08 per $1,000 of assessed value.

 

 Spokane County

Countywide measures

  • (–) Measure No. 1 on the countywide ballot would increase the regular property tax levy by $0.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for nine years, to be used exclusively to replace the regional animal protection shelter.
  • Spokane County residents will vote on a renewal of an existing levy. This measure would not increase the current burden on taxpayers.

Local measures

  • (–) Fire Protection District No. 13 residents will vote on the issuance of $2,250,000 in new debt for the construction of a new fire station.
  • (–) Town of Rockford residents will vote to levy an excess property tax of $0.51 per $1,000 of assessed value to raise $12,500 to offset budget overspending.
  • (–) Voters in the Town of Spangle will decide a measure authorize an excess property tax of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to raise $23,000 for fire protection services.
  • (–) Town of Spangle residents will vote on levying an excess property tax of $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value to raise $16,000 for police protection.
  • (+) City of Spokane residents will vote on the proposed Community Bill of Rights, which secures the right of neighborhood residents to approve re-zonings proposed for significant new development, and recognizes the right of neighborhood residents to reject development which violates the City Charter or the city’s comprehensive plan.
  • (–) Spokane Valley City voters will decide on a $2,100,000 bond measure for the purpose of altering Sprague Avenue and Appleway Boulevard in the city. The new debt would be paid for with a tax of roughly $2.60 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

 

Walla Walla County

Local measures

  • (–) Voters in the Prescott Joint Park and Recreation District will decide on a measure to authorize a property tax increase of $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed value to raise $110,000 for maintenance and operation expenses.
  • (–) City of Waitsburg residents will vote on a measure issuing $2,000,000 in flood control bonds with a 20-year maturity and authorize future property taxes necessary to retire such bonds. 

 

Whatcom County

Countywide measures

  • (+) The County Council proposed an amendment to voters to establish an independent salary commission to establish the compensation of Whatcom County elected officials. This would unwisely eliminate a current cap on compensation tying Council salaries to a percentage of the County Executive’s, and its citizen referendum component, while useful in checking excessive recommendations, should be strengthened. On balance, the measure represents only modest progress.

Local measures

  • (–) Residents in the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District No. 1 will vote on levying $49,500 in property taxes for six years to pay the general expenses of the district.
  • (–) Northwest Park and Recreation District No. #2 voters will be asked to impose a property tax levy of $0.10 per $1,000 of assessed value for six years to fund capital improvements and staff costs.

 

Yakima County

Countywide measures

  • (–) Yakima County voters will decide an emergency medical services levy of $0.25 per $1,000 assessed valuation or less for 10 years to provide emergency services.

Local measures

  • (–) Naches Park and Recreation District residents will vote on financing the general operating and equipment expenses of the district by passing a property tax of $95,000 for each of the next two years.