Edmonds Election 2011: Voters saying no to property tax levies

Edmonds voters appeared to be in no mood to spend any extra money on property taxes, as all three levies that the Edmonds City Council put on the November 2011 general election ballot were failing in initial election returns Tuesday night.

Proposition 1, a $1 million proposal to help maintain service levels in public safety, parks, and other city services was losing 59 percent to 41 percent. Proposition 2, $1 million for street overlays, was losing by 60 percent to 40 percent. And Proposition 3, a $500,000  measure to fund building maintenance and park improvements, was being defeated 64 percent to 36 percent.

No one interviewed Tuesday night appeared surprised by the outcome, however. Newly elected Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, when told of the results at his election-night party Tuesday night, said the vote was predictable, but noted the lack of new income sources will “it will make the job harder.” City Council President Strom Peterson said the decision reflected the overall mood of the electorate both locally and nationally to keep a tight grip on their pocketbooks. “We had to give it a try,” Peterson said of the council’s decision to place the measures on the ballot.

Darrol Haug, a member of the 2010 Citizens Levy Committee that studied a variety of levy options, said that despite the defeat, Edmonds residents still will need to address “a strategy for moving forward with streets.”

This is the second time in the past year that the city has unsuccessfully asked voters for a solution to the city’s decaying street infrastructure. In November 2010, voters rejected a proposal to add a $40-per-year, per-vehicle registration fee to pay for for street and sidewalk improvements through the city’s Transportation Benefit District.

All three levies would have covered the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 and would have expired after three years.

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