Blaine school bond failing to reach supermajority, while other levies pass


These election results current as of February 15 at 9 a.m.

Blaine voters are likely to approve both property tax levies on the February special election ballots, with 68.9 percent (3,544 votes) voting to approve the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) levy of $0.10 per $1,000 in assessed home value, and 58.2 percent (3,302 votes) approving Blaine school district’s operations levy that starts at $0.98 per $1,000 in property value.

The school district’s partner ballot measure, Proposition 2024-08, is likely to fail to reach the state-mandated 60 percent supermajority threshold for bonds, with only 54.8 percent voting to approve the measure. The measure, if passed, would be a $70 million capital project bond going toward renovations to existing school buildings and designs for a primary school in Birch Bay.

Fewer than 1,500 ballots are left to count across the entire county, and little is likely to change in results by the next ballot count, set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 15.

For the Blaine school district, the levy passing was “mission critical” according to superintendent Christopher Granger, as those funds make up roughly 17 percent of the district’s operations budget. The funds provide relief for the school district’s dwindling state funding due to decreased enrollment, and tapped out pandemic relief from federal and state entities.

According to the district, the levy was intended to not raise taxes for homeowners, and the district by law cannot collect more than the voter approved amount of $7.5 million in 2025, even if property values rise.

The structure of the approved levy will rise slightly year over year, starting at $0.98 per $1,000 in assessed home value, and increasing to $1.04 by 2028. For a home valued at $500,000, homeowners would pay $490 in 2025.

The proposed $70 million capital projects bond had a higher voter hurdle to clear, and a larger price tag to sell, and will likely fall short of the needed 60 percent. The bond would have asked for a flat, $0.76 per $1,000 rate through 2046, and gone toward updates to the Pipeline Fields athletic complex, improvements to Point Roberts Primary School, Blaine Middle School, and the Performing Arts Center, as well as seeking bids for preliminary designs of a Birch Bay primary school.

Granger did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

With the expected passing of BBBPRD2’s levy, the park and recreation district will be able to continue to offer classes at affordable prices, and will look to expand its community activities throughout the year, according to BBBPRD2 director Heather Lindsay.

Voters have been keen to continue funding BBBPRD2 in the past, with 71.2 percent (3,186 votes) approving a property tax levy in 2017. This election cycle saw slightly less of a turnout, which is often common for special elections when compared to general elections. That didn’t stop Lindsay and the board of commissioners from breathing a sigh of relief when results rolled in on election night.

“To say that we were elated is an understatement,” Lindsay said. “The community really showed us with that 68 percent that there’s value in parks and rec, and we were so excited to see that trust from the community through that vote.” 


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