If they were feeling the pinch of the recession or an irritation with taxes, Tacoma voters didn’t show it in Tuesday’s election.
In the initial round of counting in the mail-in election, voters easily approved a property tax increase for Metro Parks Tacoma operations and maintenance.
Proposition 1 was passing 18,628 to 9,004 – a 67 percent approval rate. The levy requires passage only by a simple majority – 50 percent.
The district asked for the new levy to shore up finances amid a drop-off in property and sales taxes. Passage of the levy will raise the property tax rate next year from 49 cents per $1,000 of property value to 75 cents per $1,000, raising an estimated $5.5 million a year. The owner of a $222,000 house will pay about $58 a year more in property taxes under the new levy.
Results from other items on the ballot in Pierce County:
• Voters in the City of Orting and the Orting Valley Fire & Rescue District were approving annexation of the city into the district. City voters were passing the merger by a 79 percent yes vote, while fire district voters were approving it with an 81 percent yes vote.
The vote is the final step in consolidating the city fire department in the rural fire district. The city estimates the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an additional $56 a year in property taxes. Taxes within the current district are expected to remain the same.
• Edgewood voters were soundly rejecting a referendum to impose a 3.5 percent utility tax to address a city budget crunch. The measure is failing with a 71 percent.
The three-year tax was approved by the City Council in December, but opponents gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot. The tax would cost a household with a $400 monthly utility bill about $14 a month.
• Voters in Buckley were easily passing, with a 77 percent yes vote, a $5 million bond measure to build a new fire station. The measure needs 60 percent approval to pass.
This is expected to be the only release of returns from the Pierce County auditor tonight. See complete election results here. Results are scheduled to be updated as more ballots that were postmarked by election day are counted in coming days.