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2012 General Election Ballot Guide: Washington

WATX

Statewide Measures

  • ( ) Washington voters will weigh in on SJR 8223, which would allow the University of Washington and Washington State University to invest partof their reserve funds in private companies. While doing so could generate revenues, opponents say it could also create serious ethics problems and put taxpayer dollars at risk.
  • ( + ) Taxpayers will decide on Initiative 1185, which would affirm an existing law passed by voters in 2010 to require either 2/3 legislative approval or a vote by the people in order to raise taxes. If passed, this would mark the fifth time in 20 years that Washington taxpayers have voted in favor of  protection from tax hikes.
  • ( + ) The people of Washington will decide on Initiative 1240, which would allow 40 public charter schools in the State over 5 years, lifting Washington’s ban on such institutions. Charter schools have been success- ful in 41 states and supporters of this amendment contend that local con- trol and accountability are two important features of charter schools across the country.
  • ( + ) Voters in Washington will decide on Senate Joint Resolution 8221, which would reduce Washington’s constitutional debt limit. This amendment would adhere to the recommendations of the Commission on State Debt that would lower the debt ceiling (now among the 10-highest in the nation) from 9 percent to 8 percent by 2034, thereby reducing the debt burden on taxpayers.
  • ( + ) Citizens will decide on two Advisory Votes; #1 would advise lawmakers to either repeal or maintain a $170 million business and occupation tax hike, while #2 would advise lawmakers to either repeal or maintain a $24 million tax increase on the possession of petroleum products. These non-binding referendums are part of a voter consultation process created by I-960, a citizen-initiated tax limitation measure that took effect in 2007. The sponsors of I-960, including taxpayer activist Tim Eyman, gen- erally oppose legislative tax increase measures.

Adams County

Local Measures

  • A ballot measure in the Benge School District would replace the main- tenance and operations levy at the same rate.
  • ( - ) In the Ritzville School District, voters will decide on a measure that would levy a new property tax to pay for upgrades at Jimmie Snider Field. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of Lincoln County.
  • ( - ) Voters residing in Fire District No. 4 will vote on a new property tax, the revenues from which would be used for the maintenance and oper- ation of its fire stations.
  • ( - ) Voters in Washtucna Parks and Recreation District No. 2 will decide on a proposed property tax increase, the revenues from which would be used for maintenance and operation costs.
  • ( - ) Voters in Cemetery District 3 will decide on a proposed property tax increase, the revenues from which would be used for maintenance and operation costs.

Asotin County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Asotin County EMS District 1, voters will decide on a measure that would authorize for 6 years a property tax of $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to fund emergency medical services.
  • ( - ) Voters in Asotin County EMS District No. 2 will decide on a proposed property tax increase of $1.29 per $1,000 assessed valuation, the rev- enues from which would be used for emergency medical services.

Chelan County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in Chelan County Fire District No. 7 will decide on a proposed property tax increase of $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the revenues from which would be used for fire protection and medical services.

Clark County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Voters in Clark County will decide on Proposition 1, which would raise the sales tax rate by 0.1 percent to subsidize Vancouver Light Rail. If approved, Proposition 1 is expected to take in $4-5 million in new taxes per year.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) A ballot measure in Vancouver City would create the Vancouver Metropolitan Parks District and authorize a property tax of $0.35 per $1,000 of assessed value, the revenues from which would be used to fund the new government agency.
  • ( - ) Voters in Yacolt Township will vote on a measure that would author- ize a property tax increase of $1 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013, funds from which would be used for operations and expenses of the town government.

Columbia County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) A measure would authorize a property tax in the Prescott Joint Park and Recreation District.

Cowlitz County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Castle Rock voters will decide on a sales tax rate increase of up to 0.2 percent that would raise money for transportation projects. The tax would exist for up to 10 years, if approved.

Douglas County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will weigh in on a measure that would allow the Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District to assess a new property tax of $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on residents to fund the maintenance and operations of the agency’s facilities. This will also be on the ballot in portions of Grant, Lincoln, and Okanogan Counties.
  • ( - ) Voters in Douglas County Hospital District No. 2 will vote on a new property tax which, if approved, would be used to generate an estimated $65,000 for the maintenance and operation of the Waterville Clinic and ambulance equipment.
  • ( - ) In Douglas County Cemetery District No. 2, a measure proposes to levy a property tax of approximately $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed val- uation to pay for the maintenance and operations of the district.
  • ( - ) A ballot measure in the Eastmont School District proposes a property tax, which would increase every year from 2014 (approximately $3.21/$1,000 of assessed valuation) through 2017 (approximately $3.51/$1,000 of assessed valuation). The funds would be used for educational programs and operations.

Grant County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Voters will weigh in on a measure that would allow the Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District to assess a new property tax of $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on residents to fund the maintenance and operations of the agency’s facilities. This will also be on the ballot in portions of Douglas, Lincoln, and Okanogan Counties.
  • ( - ) A measure in Grant County Cemetery District No. 2 would authorize a 1-year property tax to fund maintenance and operations.

Island County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In the South Whidbey Fire/EMS district, voters will decide on a pro- posed property tax increase of approximately $0.61 to $0.76 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Jefferson County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) A referendum proposes the creation of the Brinnon Park District. If approved, a new property tax of $0.60 per $1,000 of assessed value would likely be needed to fund the agency.
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on the Brinnon Park District Levy Proposition, which would assess a new property tax of up to $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on residents for 6 years to pay for the maintenance and operations of the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center in Coyle.

King County

Countywide Measures

  • A measure would renew the current property tax assessed on residents of King County to pay for the Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Kent City, a measure would increase property taxes by $0.37 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to pay for city parks and streets.
  • ( - ) Kirkland City will vote on a ballot measure to increase property taxes by a rate of $0.20 per $1,000 of assessed value to pay for street main- tenance.
  • ( - ) In Kirkland City, voters will decide on a proposal to increase property taxes permanently by $0.16 per $1,000 of assessed value to pay for parks.
  • ( - ) Mercer Island City residents will have the opportunity to vote on a proposal to authorize the local government to issue $5.2 million in new debt and raise property taxes by a rate of $0.08 per $1,000 of assessed value in order to purchase a new fire truck and replace a fire station.
  • ( - ) Normandy Park City voters will weigh in on a proposed increase in the local property tax of $0.29246 per $1,000 of assessed value, the revenues from which would be used to fund city government operations.
  • ( - ) In Seattle, voters will decide on a proposal to authorize the City to issue $290 million in new debt and impose a new property tax on resi- dents. The funds would be used to pay for improvements to the Alaskan Way seawall.
  • ( - ) Snoqualmie City voters will decide on a proposal to increase property taxes by up to $0.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value to fund public safety operations.
  • ( - ) In Federal Way School District No. 10, voters will decide on a measure that would authorize a $10 million increase in property taxes to pay for capital improvements to area schools.
  • ( - ) Residents of Auburn School District 408 will vote on a proposal to allow the District to issue $110 million and raise property taxes to pay for the reconstruction of Auburn High School. This initiative will also appear on the ballot in parts of Pierce County.
  • ( - ) In King County Fire Protection District No. 20, voters will decide on a measure to increase property taxes over a four-year period. By 2016, the rate would increase to $.90 per $1,000 of assessed value.
  • ( - ) In King County Fire Protection District No. 45, voters will weigh in on a proposed 4-year property tax increase of $750,000 per year.
  • ( - ) On the ballot in Si View Metropolitan Park District is an additional property tax of $0.27 per $1,000 of assessed value to fund basic safety and operations.

Kittitas County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) A ballot measure in Kittitas County would levy a new property tax of $.07 per $1,000 of assessed value for 7 years to fund flood mitigation and recovery.

Klickitat County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In White Salmon City, voters will weigh in on a proposal to increase the City’s property tax by $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed value for 5 years to fund the local swimming pool.
  • ( - ) Voters in Klickitat County Port District No. 2 will decide on a ballot measure that would authorize an increase in property taxes up to a maximum of $0.505 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2013.

Lewis County

Local Measures

  • A proposed ballot measure in Lewis County Fire Protection District No. 6 would extend current property taxes for 10 years to pay for emergency medical services.

Lincoln County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In the Ritzville School District, voters will decide on a measure that would levy a new property tax to pay for upgrades at Jimmie Snider Field. This measure is also on the ballot in portions of Adams County.
  • ( - ) Voters will weigh in on a measure that would allow the Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District to assess a new property tax of $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on residents to fund the maintenance and operations of the agency’s facilities. This will also be on the ballot in portions of Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties.
  • ( - ) Voters in Lincoln County Park and Recreation District No. 6 will vote on a measure to impose a six-year property tax on residents that would bring in $106,000 per year for Davenport Memorial Hall and the Davenport Water Park.

Okanogan County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) A ballot measure in Okanogan City would raise the sales and use tax rate by 0.1 percent. If approved, at least 1/3 of the revenues from this tax hike would be used for criminal justice or fire prevention services.
  • ( - ) In Oroville City, voters will consider a proposal that would increase property taxes by $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed value for 6 years to fund ambulance and emergency medical services.
  • ( - ) Voters will weigh in on a measure that would allow the Coulee Area Parks and Recreation District to assess a new property tax of $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation on residents to fund the maintenance and operations of the agency’s facilities. This will also be on the ballot in portions of Douglas, Grant, and Lincoln Counties.
  • ( - ) In the Rural Oroville EMS District, voters will consider a proposal that would increase property taxes by $0.25 per $1,000 of assessed value for 6 years to fund ambulance and emergency medical services.

 Pend Oreille County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Pend Oreille County Fire District No. 5, a ballot measure would authorize the district to exceed current property tax limits and assess a rate of $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
  • ( - ) In the Sacheen Lake Sewer and Water District a proposition would authorize the District to collect $60,545 via a property tax.

Pierce County

Countywide Measures

  • ( + ) Voters in Pierce County will have the opportunity to amend the County charter to require that a supermajority of Council Members approve any tax increase.
  • ( - ) Pierce County voters will weigh in on a measure that would authorize a sales and use tax rate increase in the amount of 0.3 percent for transit services.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) DuPont City voters will decide on a ballot measure that would increase property taxes by $0.975 per $1,000 of assessed value to pay for public safety buildings, city hall, and various services.
  • ( - ) Voters in Eatonville will weigh in on a proposed property tax increase that would raise the rate of taxation by $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. Money collected by the local government from this tax hike would be used to pay for general expenses.
  • ( - ) Residents of Auburn School District 408 will vote on a proposal to allow the District to issue $110 million and raise property taxes to pay for the reconstruction of Auburn High School. This initiative will also appear on the ballot in parts of King County.
  • ( - ) Residents of Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 16 will consid- er a 4-year property tax increase that would bring in $800,000 annual- ly to the local government.
  • ( - ) In Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 23, a ballot measure seeks to authorize a property tax of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

San Juan County

Countywide Measures

  • ( + ) A proposition in San Juan County would require all meetings of the County Council to be public, except in certain circumstances. Additional transparency could help citizens better understand the financial functions of the local government.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In the Orcas Island School District, voters will consider a measure that would allow the issuance of $11.9 million in new debt to pay for reno- vations to school facilities. To pay for this debt, property taxes would

be increased by $0.26 per $1,000 of assessed value.

  • ( - ) In Orcas Island School District No. 137, a ballot measure would increase property taxes by $0.06 per $1,000 assessed valuation in 2013 and 2014 to pay for school technology upgrades.
  • ( - ) Residents of the Lopez Island Solid Waste District will vote on a pro- posed property tax increase that would raise their taxes by $0.09514 per $1,000 of assessed value for 1 year for funding operations and capital expenses.

Skagit County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) La Conner Town residents will vote on a proposal that would add an additional 0.1 percent to the local sales and use tax rate for fire protec- tion services and equipment.
  • ( - ) Sedro-Woolley City residents will vote on a proposal that would add an additional 0.1 percent to the local sales and use tax rate for public safety services.
  • ( - ) Skagit PTBA Proposition No. 1 - Precinct 110 would allow the annex- ation of Big Lake into the Skagit Public Transit Benefits Area and the assessment of an additional 0.4 percent sales tax rate in Big Lake.
  • ( - ) Skagit PTBA Proposition No. 1 - Precinct 140 would allow the annex- ation of Montborne into the Skagit Public Transit Benefits Area and the assessment of an additional 0.4 percent sales tax in Montborne.
  • ( - ) In the Fildalgo Pool and Fitness District, voters will decide on a meas- ure that would assess property taxes at approximately 13.94 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation for three years with possible additional increases of up to 1 percent each year. The funds would be used to pay for maintenance and operational expenses.

Snohomish County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Gold Bar City, a proposal seeks to raise $113,000 by increasing property taxes on residents. The funds would be used to pay for litiga- tion expenses.
  • ( - ) Mill Creek City voters will decide on a measure that would add 0.1 percent to the local sales and use tax rate to raise money for police and fire protection services. If approved, the funds would be split between the City (85 percent) and County (15 percent).
  • ( - ) Mukilteo City voters will decide on a measure that would authorize the city government to issue more than $3.2 million in new debt and assess new property taxes to purchase Japanese Gulch for park purposes.
  • ( - ) In Mukilteo School District No. 6, a ballot measure would increase property taxes by $0.265 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to purchase school buses.

Spokane County

Local Measures

  • A measure in Medical Lake City would authorize a property tax of $0.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation for six years to fund emergency medical services. This would replace an existing tax.
  • ( - ) In Spangle Cemetery District No. 1, voters will decide on a measure that would assess a property tax of approximately $0.15 per $1,000 of assessed value to fund maintenance and operations expenses.
  • ( - ) Voters in the Rosalia Park and Recreation District 5 will weigh in on a proposed tax of $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed value, the funds from which would be used for maintenance and operation in 2013.

Stevens County

Local Measures

  • Voters in Stevens County Fire Protection District No. 4 will consider a measure that would restore the property tax rate to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013.

Thurston County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Olympia City voters will decide on a measure that would add 0.1 per- cent to the local sales and use tax rate to raise money for public safety and criminal justice services. If approved, the funds would be split between the City (85 percent) and County (15 percent).
  • ( - ) Voters will decide on a measure that would assess a 6-year property tax increase of $0.60 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the Tanglewilde Parks and Recreation District. This would raise an estimated $69,000 per year.

Whatcom County

Countywide Measures

  • ( - ) Whatcom County voters will decide on a measure that would increase from 3 to 5 the number of commissioners for the Port of Bellingham. According to local sources, this expansion would cost County taxpayers an estimated $150,000 per year.

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Bellingham City voters will weigh in on a proposed property tax increase. The measure would authorize for 7 years a tax hike of up to $0.12 per $1,000 of assessed property value to fund low income hous- ing services.
  • ( - ) A proposal in Lynden would add 0.2 percent to the sales and use tax rate in the Lynden Transportation Benefit District to fund transporta- tion improvements.
  • ( - ) Voters residing in the Lynden Regional Parks and Recreation District  will decide on a proposal that would authorize the issuance of $9.5 million in new debt to purchase a new indoor recreation facility. If the measure is approved, the District would be allowed to raise property taxes to pay off this debt.

Whitman County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) In Colton, voters will decide on a proposed property tax increase of $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is intended to raise funds for general operations and the improvement of town streets and water/sewer systems.
  • ( - ) Endicott voters will consider Proposition 1, which would increase property taxes to raise $20,000 for street maintenance.
  • ( - ) Endicott voters will weigh in on Proposition 2, which would hike property taxes by $7,000 to raise money for parks.
  • ( - ) A ballot measure in Garfield would allow the town to raise $57,000 by increasing property taxes on residents. The funds would be used to pay for road maintenance and repairs.
  • ( - ) Voters in Oakesdale will decide on a measure that would allow the local government to raise property taxes to generate $20,000 for police and fire protection services.
  • ( - ) In Oakesdale, a measure would authorize a $30,000 tax increase, which would be collected through property taxes. These funds would be used for street work and street lights.
  • ( - ) Palouse City voters will weigh in on a proposal to raise $28,000 through higher property taxes to pay for the operation and mainte- nance of the city’s public swimming pool.
  • ( - ) In Palouse City, a ballot measure seeks to raise $40,000 in new tax revenue by boosting property tax rates. If approved, these revenues would be used to pay for street improvements and street oiling.
  • ( - ) Voters in St. John will consider a measure that would levy a new prop- erty tax of $60,000 to pay for street repairs.
  • ( - ) Also in St. John, a ballot measure would raise property taxes by $70,000 to pay for water and sewer upgrades.
  • ( - ) Voters in Tekoa will weigh in on a proposal to increase property taxes by $50,000 to fund the Street Department.
  • ( - ) In Whitman County Fire District No. 6, voters will decide on a pro- posed $40,000 property tax increase. If approved, these new tax rev- enues would be used for maintenance and operation of the District.
  • ( - ) Voters residing in Oakesdale Cemetery District No. 1 will vote on a measure that would raise property taxes by $45,000 for improvements and general maintenance of the District.
  • ( - ) Residents in St. John Cemetery District No. 3 will vote on a measure that would increase property taxes by $16,000 for capital improve- ments.
  • ( - ) The Endicott Cemetery District 4 has proposed a property tax increase to fund its general maintenance. If voters approve this measure, prop- erty taxes will go up by $20,000.
  • ( - ) In LaCrosse Park and Recreation District No. 1, voters will decide on a $40,000 property tax hike, the funds from which would be used for the district’s public pool.
  • ( - ) A ballot measure in St. John Park and Recreation District No. 3 would raise property taxes by $42,000 to pay for pool operations and other various costs.
  • ( - ) In Oakesdale Park and Recreation District No. 4, voters will decide on a measure that would raise property taxes by $67,000 to pay for recre- ation facilities.
  • ( - ) Voters in Rosalia Park and Recreation District No. 5 will weigh in on a proposal to increase property taxes by $55,000.
  • ( - ) In Tekoa Park and Recreation District No. 6, voters will consider a proposed $89,000 property tax increase, which would pay for the operation of the public pool.

Yakima County

Local Measures

  • ( - ) Residents of Yakima County Fire District No. 1 will vote on a measure that would allow the District to issue $2.2 million in new debt to pay for fire and emergency equipment. If this is approved, the District will raise property taxes to pay off the debt.