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Two tax hikes approved, one rejected



Published on November 13, 2017 4:30PM

Last changed on November 13, 2017 4:32PM

Voters in the city of Long Beach approved a small sales tax increase to help pay for repairs to deteriorated streets and other infrastructure.


Voters in the city of Long Beach approved a small sales tax increase to help pay for repairs to deteriorated streets and other infrastructure.

SOUTH BEND — Voters have rejected a measure to raise taxes on real estate sales in unincorporated Pacific County by one-quarter of 1 percent, election results released Monday afternoon by the county Auditor’s office show.

Most voters, 62.7 percent, wanted to keep dollars in people’s pockets. The 0.25 percent real estate tax hike failed by 2,618 to 1,561 votes.

“It’s too bad,” Commissioner Frank Wolfe said. “Most people don’t like paying taxes, they just like the services they provide.”

The increase would have doubled the county’s annual revenue from property sales to an average of about $600,000. The money would have helped get the troubled county budget back on track by paying for building construction, repairs and maintenance.

Wolfe said he does not expect the failed tax increase to affect services in 2018, unless the commissioners have to adjust the budget due to an unexpected expense. The county will likely have to cut services in 2019, he said.

“We’ve pretty much cut all the fat already,” Wolfe said. “Now, it’s time to take the meat off the bones.”

The commissioners have not decided which services are likely to end up on the chopping block in 2019.

Long Beach sales tax to go up

Long Beach tourists will now have to help city taxpayers cover the cost of road repairs and improvements. City voters approved a two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax hike to pay for Long Beach transportation projects by 57.2 percent, Monday’s ballot count showed. It passed by 245 to 183 votes.

The 0.2 percent sales-tax increase, roughly 2 cents for a $10 purchase, is expected bring in about $100,000 annually for the next 10 years. The city will use the money to pay for road improvements and transportation projects.

More money for emergency services

Voters approved the North Pacific Emergency Medical Service District 1 tax levy by 71.3 percent, Monday’s ballot count showed. The tax levy of 60 cents per $1,000 assessed property value passed by 1,760 to 710 votes.

It takes effect in 2018, after the current levy expires. The district can then collect up to $460,000 from property owners in the county, except those in the Ocean Beach, Ocosta or North River school districts.

Thumbs down to state taxes

County voters rejected all three statewide tax advisory measures, each by more than 73 percent.

The votes provide information to the Legislature — they don’t change the law.

State lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-held House approved three tax hikes earlier this year. Gov. Jay Inslee signed two bills passed by the Legislature to help pay for Washington’s two-year operating budget and a third measure to provide money for a court-ordered K-12 school-funding plan.

Pacific County had 14,375 registered voters in the Nov. 7 election. Turnout was about 41 percent.

The county is expected to certify the final election results on Nov. 28.


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