ILWACO - Voters in five Washington counties rejected additional funding for libraries Tuesday.
The preliminary vote count at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday was about 56 percent against versus 44 percent in favor of granting additional taxation authority to the Timberland Regional Library system. The system is based in Olympia and includes 27 branches including Ilwaco, Ocean Park, Naselle, Raymond and South Bend.
In Washington, postmarks do count, but the scale of the "no" vote means it is unlikely to be overturned by the arrival of late ballots.
The library-funding proposition passed in Pacific and Mason counties, but was overwhelmingly rejected in Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties.
The Timberland service area covers 7,000 square miles and serves a population of more than 400,000 residents. Some 18 cities contract with Timberland for service or have annexed to the district.
The Olympian newspaper reported that under state law library districts can assess a tax of up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Currently, the district is collecting 32.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The levy lid issue on the ballot was a request by the library trustees to return to a maximum of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The owner of a $200,000 home would have seen about a $34 annual increase in taxes.
Approved. 19,407 45.61 percent
Rejected 23,144 54.39 percent
Approved 6,953-- 54.57 percent
Rejected 5,789-- 45.43 percent
Approved 4,105-- 28.64 percent
Rejected 10,228--71.36 percent
Approved 2,699--51.64 percent
Rejected 2,528-- 48.36 percent
Approved 4,092 --43.99 percent
Rejected 5,210--56.01 percent