Special election results to watch in Washington state tonight
Washington state is holding a special election today and voters across the state will be able to vote on important legislation that could determine how taxes will be used for years in the future.
An initial round of election returns is expected to be released shortly after 8 p.m. Additional results are typically released daily.
County canvassing boards will certify and transmit election results on Feb. 24.
You can find the results to the elections here, as the votes are counted.
Social housing initiative makes February special election ballot
Initiative 135, which concerns developing and maintaining affordable housing, would establish a public developer to create, own, and maintain public housing in Seattle.
“Social housing is publicly owned, publicly financed, mixed-income housing, removed from market forces and speculation, and built with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably. Under public control and oversight, social housing is sustainable and remains affordable in perpetuity,” the initiative text reads.
The goal of social housing expands upon other public housing goals, like Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) rental housing or the Seattle Housing Authority, which focuses on providing housing to low-income residents. In contrast, the social housing initiative would help provide housing to those making 0% to 120% of the city’s median income, which currently is $120,907 a year.
“Folks that live in the units that have traditionally been low-income housing wouldn’t have to worry about the same benefits cliff that currently happened in affordable housing models,” McCoy said. “Where if you make a couple of bucks more, or if you get like $1 more an hour, you are at risk of losing all of your benefits, and maybe needing to move out of subsidized housing, and into market-rate housing that you can’t afford.”
The initiative is broken up into three parts, the establishment of a public developer, using city resources to establish staff and office space for 18 months to get off the ground, and creating a feasibility study for sales of public land to ensure housing needs are met.
Marysville program and ops levy
A levy appeared on Marysville voters’ ballots to renew the Educational Programs and Operations Programs Levy, which expired at the end of the 2022 tax year.
According to the district, the levy provides funding to support key education funding including teaching, provides school supplies, technology, athletics, building maintenance, transportation, and other education needs.
There have been two other attempts to pass a levy to create this funding, but both failed last year.
The “Educational Programs and Operation Levy” and the “Technology and Capital Projects Levy” failed at the polls in February and April, with both receiving less than 50% of votes to accept.
The district is now assessing its budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year as it looks to cut spending by $13.5 million.
If approved, it would cost the average homeowner $1.67 per $1,000 of assessed home value over the next four years. It is $0.68 less per thousand than the current levy, according to the district.
Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue board size increase
Proposition No. 1 would increase the size of the Board of Commissioners from five to seven.
The Board currently consists of seven members due to the merger of Monroe Fire and Lake Stevens Fire into Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue but will be reduced over the next four years.
According to language on the ballot, the Board believes increasing the size to seven would “provide better representation of all voters in the area.”
Two levies for Peninsula School District
Voters in Gig Harbor are considering two levies on their special election ballot, one educational levy to support school funding and the other would help fund safety measures in the district.
The first, the Educational Programs and Operations Levy, would replace the expiring 2020 levy, which accounts for approximately 18% of the district’s overall budget and supports staff and programs, according to the district.
The second, a six-year Safety, Security, and Technology Levy, would provide enhanced safety, security systems, and technology improvements throughout the district.
It would create a dedicated source of funding to protect and serve students, according to the district.
The levy rates are estimated to be $1.13 per $1,000 of assessed value for the replacement levy and $0.25 for the security levy.