Stanwood-Camano voters are approving a school replacement levy, according to initial election results Tuesday night.
So far, the levy is passing with 4,445 yes votes to 3,438 no votes in combined ballot tallies from Snohomish and Island counties.
"On behalf of the Stanwood-Camano School District students and staff, I thank you for your continued support and commitment to our schools," schools superintendent Jean Shumate wrote in a news release.
The Educational Programs & Operations levy would amount to $1.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value — essentially replacing the current, expiring levy. That would keep the district’s total tax burden at about $3.29, below the $3.51 the School Board has promised voters. The total $3.29 per $1,000 rate includes a Facilities and Technology Levy and the bond for the new high school campus.
In all, a tax bill on a $400,000 home would equate to about $1,280 a year going to the school district — about the same as the current tax bill.
Both Island and Snohomish counties reported about 30% voter turnout, according to the election offices. In Snohomish County, the levy was passing with 57% of the vote. In Island County, the levy was being approved with 55.7% of the ballots.
The EPO levy — which helps pay for day-to-day school operations — will generate about 14% of the school district's operating budget. About 89% of the school budget pays for teachers and staff.
Elsewhere in the area, Lakewood School District's two levies are failing. Arlington's two levies are passing, but it's bond measure is not over the 60% mark needed.
After the McCleary decision changed how the state distributes money to districts, many districts are forecasting budget shortfalls in the coming years.
Districts where levies do not pass are likely to put them on the ballot in April.