Local tax measures finding support with voters

Whatcom County voters are favoring several local ballot initiatives that would increase taxes. 

With still thousands of ballots to count, current results show comfortable leads for Bellingham’s low-income housing levy and the Lynden Transportation Benefit District’s sales and use tax.

The low-income housing levy is ahead with 55.5 percent of voters in support.

The levy would increase Bellingham’s regular property tax by 12 cents per $1,000 and levy an additional property tax of 24 cents per $1,000 for the next seven years.

Supporters expect the additional taxes will raise about $21 million to fund housing and housing services for people with low incomes and people with disabilities.

Early election results show close to 55 percent of voters supporting Lynden’s sales and use tax.

If the proposition pases, the Lynden Transportation Benefit District will be able to impose a 0.02 percent sales and use tax for 10 years to fund transportation improvements.

A separate bond measure to support the purchase of an indoor recreation facility in Lynden is trailing, with 62 percent of voters opposed.

Current election updates are available on the Whatcom County Auditor’s website: http://vote.wa.gov/results/20121106/whatcom/.

The next count is scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight.

About 25,000 ballots remain to be counted.

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