Ellensburg votes to pass affordable housing

Proposition 1 passes, other taxable state measures fall flat

Racquel Muncy and Eric Rosane

Proposition 1, a retail tax, passed with almost two-third majority in favor.

Votes of the 8,699 voters that turned out this election period in Kittitas County—out of a possible 24,552—have officially been tallied and the results are up. This comes up to a little over 35 percent turnout for Kittitas County.

Proposition 1 was passed by 1,668 Kittitas voters, a total of 61.3 percent of those who voted on this ballot item. This proposition is a 0.1 percent sales tax increase on retail goods. This means that if a shopper spends $100 on school supplies next school year they will be paying an extra 10 cents. This brings the new sales tax to 8.3 percent here in Ellensburg.

This money will go towards the issues regarding housing and, hopefully, be a start to fix the overcrowding issues. For example, the money could go towards a housing development project, or as seed money for a grant for the same project.

As far as Ellensburg City Council positions, Nancy Goodloe will be taking over Rich Elliot’s position as councilmember two. She beat Jim Johnson. Mary Morgan and Nicole Klauss retained their positions despite facing opponents. Nancy Lillquist also retained her position on the city council, but did not have any opponent.

Sue Higginbotham is an administrative assistant at the Kittitas County Auditor’s office. The Auditor’s office deals with matters in relation to paying for certain general elections and their operations. This elections cycle, Higginbotham noted how dissatisfied most of the auditor’s and commissioner’s office were with the voter turnout.

“We have online voter guides and other resources available. Not many take advantage of it,” Higginbotham said.

There were three state measures, as well as Proposition 1 that Kittitas County voters voted on the Nov. 7 election ballot. State measures, or Advisory Votes, are items on the ballot that the legislature approved without the consent of the voters, so the entire state is voting on these items.

Advisory Vote No. 16 was an added tax on fish such as salmon and other game fish to be used for government spending. Kittitas County voted to have this measure repealed by a margin of 65.6 percent. Throughout the state, 55.1 percent of the voters chose to repeal the measure.

The second measure that was voted on expanded the business and occupation tax. This would generate $565 million in the first ten years, all for government spending. Voters chose to repeal this measure by a wide margin in both Kittitas and Washington in general, choosing to repeal it by 71.7 percent and 62.9 percent, respectively.

Last was Advisory Vote No. 18. This measure, similar to the others, aimed at  generating  money for government spending. It would generate nearly $13 billion through a state property tax on public schools in the next ten years. Voters in Kittitas County voted to repeal the measure by 65.7 percent. Washington voters in general chose to repeal the measure by a margin of 59.8 percent.