April 18, 2024 9:35 am

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Voters approve $866 million in school bonds and levies in Special Election

SNOHOMISH COUNTY—Snohomish County voters overwhelmingly supported ballot measures to provide funding for school districts across the Snohomish County in the February 13 Special Election. Both the Marysville Transportation Benefit District and the levy for Fire District 22 passed handsomely with 71% and 60% respectively. Voter turnout as of the count on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, was 30.64% (66,060 or 215,573 votes).

School Levies only require a simple majority to pass; whereas bonds must meet two separate criteria to pass. First, bonds must meet the minimum number of “Yes” votes equal to 24% (60% of the 40%) of the total votes who casted a ballot in the last general election—this would be November of 2023. Secondly, bonds must receive a 60% favorable majority, or 60% of the ballots cast must be “Yes” votes.

special election
SOURCE: Yes! for Kids website for the Special Election.

Overall, $1.089 billion in bonds and levies were proposed to residents in the five school districts with a total of $865,809,410 passing in the February 13 Special Election. Edmonds School District was the big winner with taxpayers approving $714 million in funding for its schools.

Edmonds Schools Superintendent Rebecca Miner extends her heartfelt gratitude to the community.

“It took many people both in our community and in our district to accomplish these results,” said Edmonds Schools Superintendent Miner. “I am so proud of what we’ve been able to do, working together, for our community’s children. Building these new schools will impact generations of students to come and providing adequate technology to students and staff will support teaching and learning in our district for the next four years.”

Edmonds School Board President Nancy Katims expresses her appreciation to the many staff members and volunteers who helped voters understand the significance of these measures.

“Their commitment and tireless efforts have been instrumental in ensuring our community was well informed and engaged in this election,” said Edmonds School Board President Katims. “We are especially grateful to the parent and community-led group Yes for ESD Kids, as well as everyone who gave their time and energy volunteering in this effort that will have a huge positive impact for our students for years to come.”

“When kids win, we all win,” Yes! for ESD Kids wrote in a press released celebrating Tuesday’s win. “Congratulations to the residents of Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, and Woodway, to our district’s dedicated teachers and staff members, and to our kids – our future!”

Edmonds School District voters in 2020 rejected a $600 million funding bond but passed a $95 million Technology and Capital Facilities levy that year; and in 2021, voters approved another $180 million in a funding levy derived from the failed $600 million bond a year earlier. Since the 2020 bond failure, voters in the Edmonds School District have now approved $989 million in bonds and levies for its students.

The bonds for Arlington ($95 million) and Sultan ($80 million) failed to meet the 60% minimum number of votes to pass. Both Lakewood School District levies ($48.5 million) also failed to meet the simple majority requirement.

Arlington School District No. 16 Proposition No. 1

Renewal of Expiring Educational Programs and Operations Levy has passed.

Arlington School District No. 16 Proposition No. 2

Renewal of Expiring Capital Levy for Health, Safety, Infrastructure and Facility Improvements has passed.

Arlington School District No. 16 Proposition No. 3

Bonds to Construct a New Post Middle School: This proposition would authorize the District to: construct a new middle school to replace Post Middle School that will include general classrooms, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics classrooms, special education resource rooms, band and music rooms, stage, kitchen, commons, library, gymnasiums, and outdoor physical education/athletic fields; issue no more than $95,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within 21 years; and levy annual excess property taxes to repay the bonds, all as provided in Resolution No. 23-14.

The bond failed to receive the 60% minimum number of votes to pass.

Edmonds School District No. 15 Proposition No. 1

The Board of Directors of Edmonds School District No. 15 adopted Resolution No. 23-17 concerning a proposition to finance capital improvements to its education facilities. This proposition would authorize the District to complete construction of Oak Heights Elementary School, construct two new middle schools and two new elementary schools (including replacements for College Place Middle and Elementary Schools and Westgate Elementary School), and make District-wide safety, mechanical and structural upgrades and repairs, by issuing $594,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within 21 years; and levying excess property taxes annually to pay such bonds, as described in Resolution No. 23-17.

The bond passed receiving well over the 60% minimum number of votes to pass. According to the November 2023 General Election tally, a total of 42,094 ballots were received for the Edmonds School District. The total number of “yes “YES” votes as of February 14, 2024, is 22,462 or 53.36% of the total number of 2023 2023 General Election ballots for the school district, therefore the ballot measure overwhelmingly passes the required minimum of 24%.

Edmonds School District No. 15 Proposition No. 2

Replacement of Expiring Technology Capital Levy to Improve School Facilities has passed.

Lakewood School District No. 306 Proposition No. 1

Replacement Levy for Educational Programs and Operations has failed to pass.

Lakewood School District No. 306 Proposition No. 2

Levy for Capital Improvements and Safety has failed to pass.

Stanwood-Camano School District No. 401 Proposition No. 1

Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy has passed.

Sultan School District No. 311 Proposition No. 1

Bonds to Construct, Modernize and Improve Schools: The Board of Directors of Sultan School District No. 311 adopted Resolution No. 24-02, concerning a proposition to relieve overcrowding and provide safe, modern facilities. This proposition would authorize the District to: construct a new elementary school (Grades K-4), on a site located between 116th and 124th Streets SE, west of Sultan Basin Road; modernize, expand and convert Gold Bar Elementary School for Grades K-4; improve and convert Sultan Elementary School for Grades 5-6; issue $79,995,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within 21 years; and levy annual excess property taxes to repay the bonds, all as provided in Resolution No. 24-02.

The bond failed to receive the 60% minimum number of votes to pass.

Marysville Transportation Benefit District Proposition No. 1

Renewal of Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements has passed.

The City Council of Marysville as the Board of the Marysville Transportation Benefit District, Marysville, Washington, adopted Resolution No. 2543 concerning a sales and use tax to fund transportation improvements, maintenance, and repair and other street projects identified in the City’s Transportation Plan. This proposition would retain the current sales and use tax of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) to be collected within the District in accordance with RCW 82.14.0455 for a term of ten years, beginning not earlier than July 1, 2024, and ending not later than June 30, 2034.

Fire District No. 22 Proposition No. 1

Property Tax Levy for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services has passed.

The Board of Snohomish County Fire Protection District No. 22 adopted Resolution No. 2023-06 concerning a proposition to maintain and adequately fund District operations.

This proposition would authorize the District to restore its regular property tax levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to be assessed in 2024 and collected in 2025. The funds will maintain and improve fire protection, emergency medical services and facilities, replace apparatus and equipment, and provide for firefighter safety. The maximum allowable levy in 2024 shall serve as the base for subsequent levy limitations as provided by chapter 84.55 RCW.

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