Levies

Mount Vernon School District Superintendent Carl Bruner looks over election results Tuesday.

With early numbers in, some taxing districts are celebrating expected wins, while others are bracing for losses.

The Sedro-Woolley Police Department and Skagit County Fire District 11, which serves south Fidalgo Island, are celebrating likely passage of their levies, both of which will help the departments address growth.

Skagit County Fire District 8, which serves the area around Sedro-Woolley and into Hamilton, is narrowly passing its levy lid increase, while the Mount Vernon School District has some ground to gain in order to pass its request for a supplemental levy.

Skagit County Fire District 9, which serves Big Lake, is preparing for a loss, as only about one-third of voters are approving its request to raise its levy lid.

About 14,000 ballots remain to be counted from throughout Skagit County.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY PROPOSITION 1

Proposition No. 1, which would allow the city to raise its property tax levy lid to add staff to its police department, is passing with about 52% of the vote.

In actual votes, 575 have voted for the levy and 523 against.

The proposition will allow the city to increase the levy lid by 56 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, which it estimates will bring in about $557,706 each year.

The increased revenue will allow the department to hire three additional officers, make a part-time records position full time, and, in partnership with the Sedro-Woolley School District, hire a school resource officer.

“The passing of that (proposition) is the light at the end of the tunnel for officers in Sedro-Woolley,” Police Chief Lin Tucker said Tuesday night. “They need the help, and we appreciate the voters’ confidence.”

Tucker has said the department is severely understaffed, with himself and Lt. Dan McIlraith often having to respond to patrol calls to ensure adequate police coverage.

SKAGIT COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 11

Of the three Skagit County fire districts with levy-lid requests on the ballot, Fire District 11 — Mount Erie — is having its request passing by the biggest margin.

The request to raise the lid from 42 cents to 61 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value is passing with 72% of the vote — 549 votes in favor and 211 opposed.

It is the first such request the district has made in 25 years.

With passage, the district intends to use the money to purchase new engines and hire a full-time chief.

SKAGIT COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 8

With early numbers in, Skagit County Fire District 8’s request to raise its levy lid by 28 cents was separated Tuesday by eight votes.

About 50.4% of voters are in favor of raising the district’s levy lid from 97 cents to $1.25 per $1,000 in assessed property value, with about 49.7% rejecting the proposal.

It is the first such request the district has made since 1984.

If passed, the district expects to bring in about $250,000, which it plans to use to increase the stipend it offers to its volunteers, keep up with building maintenance and firefighter gear requirements, and address issues like rot and mold at its two stations.

SKAGIT COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 9

The Big Lake Fire Department has a big hill to climb to pass its increase of 40 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value.

In an effort to replace engines, the department asked for permission to raise its levy lid from 60 cents to $1 per $1,000 in assessed property value.

With 474 ballots counted , about 34% — 160 votes — are in favor of the district’s request while about 66% — 314 votes — are rejecting it.

It is the first request the district has made since 2002.

MOUNT VERNON SCHOOL DISTRICT

In an attempt to recoup funding, the Mount Vernon School District asked voters to approve a supplemental levy that could bring in about $6 million to the district over the next two years.

With early numbers in, however, voters are rejecting the district’s ask. About 52% — 2,181 votes — are rejecting it, while about 48% — 2,049 votes — are approving it.

If approved, the levy would have added to property taxes in the district no more than 79 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value in 2020 and no more than 54 cents in 2021.

The increased revenue would allow the district to pull back on some of the cuts it had to make earlier this year, allow it to restore student academic and behavioral supports, decrease class sizes in the middle and high schools, and purchase new reading and science curricula.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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