Blended outcomes for Yakima Valley faculty levies in Tuesday particular election | Training
Some school districts can breathe a sigh of relief after their voters approved local tax levies to help fund school programs and facilities. Others may have to try again during the April special election.
Levies were on track to pass Tuesday in the Highland, Zillah, Mt Adams and Wapato school districts. Measures were struggling in Union Gap and Grandview and too close to call in West Valley, according to unofficial, preliminary results from the Yakima County Auditor’s Office.
The auditor’s office counted 9,974 ballots so far in the special election. That’s about 22% of eligible votes. The office will continue to count additional ballots as they arrive in the coming days, auditor’s office staff said. The election will be certified Feb 18.
The school district Levies help fund additional staff, extracurricular programs, and technology needs. They will replace the levies that voters previously approved and expire at the end of this year.
Other districts sought capital levies or bonds for more specific projects, which needed 60% of the vote to pass.
If a district passes a local tax levy, the state provides additional funds, known as local effort assistance.
District by district
The Grandview School District’s four-year replacement levy had 47% support, or 399 out of 849 total votes, as of Tuesday night. A levy needs a simple majority of 50% plus one vote to pass.
The Highland School District’s six-year capital levy for safety, security, infrastructure and technology improvements, was passing with 60.2%. That’s 415 out of 689 votes total.
Mt. Adams School District’s four-year replacement levy was too close to call with 52% of the vote in favor, or 119 out of 228 total votes, as of Tuesday night.
Union Gap School District had both a replacement levy and bond on the ballot. Voters appeared to reject both.
The levy had 46.5% support, and the bond had 41.6% support. The bond would have helped fund the construction of a new auxiliary gym, as well as make repairs and upgrades to the existing gym, parking lot and playground.
The bond needed 60% of the vote to pass.
Wapato voters approved their school district’s four-year replacement levy with 57% of voters in agreement, as of Tuesday night. That’s 372 out of 650 votes total.
The fate of West Valley School District’s four-year replacement levy was too close to call, with 49.82% of voters supporting it. The 6,260 votes counted so far were split almost evenly, with 3,119 saying yes and 3,141 saying no.
Zillah School District’s four-year replacement levy was passing with 57% of voters, or 433 out of 754 total votes, in agreement, as of Tuesday night.
The fate of a request from the Naches Park and Recreation District for a two-year special levy that would help cover the general operations of the district was passing. About 62% of voters, or 203 of 328 total, voted in favor of the levy, as of Tuesday night. It needs 60% of the vote to pass.
The district can collect up to $195,000 in levy money in 2023 and 2024. The estimated levy rate is $0.61 per $1,000 of assessed value on a person’s home each year.