Auburn School District levy is passing by thin margin

These were the results as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The tally for Proposition 1, Auburn School District’s maintenance and operations levy renewal, showed the combined yes votes in King and Pierce counties had overtaken the no votes — with 6,210 (51.17 percent) votes in favor to 5,927 (48.63 percent) against, out of 12,137 votes cast.

These were the results as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The latest numbers represent a tidy turnaround over election evening on Feb. 13, when Proposition 1 trailed by 32 votes in the combined returns, down by slim margin of 49.83 percent “yes” to 50.17 percent “no,” out of the 9,436 total ballots then returned in the all-mail election.

Auburn School District officials were pleased that the vote would swing in their favor.

“Our community consistently prioritizes strong schools, and we are grateful for the support,” Auburn School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati said on Tuesday.

A simple majority of 50 percent plus 1 vote is required to pass a levy. The previous levy, which passed in 2020, expires this month.

The levy would collect $51.8 million in 2025; $54.4 million in 2026; $57.1 million in 2027; and $60 million in 2028. The total tax rate will remain stable.

The Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy provides 14% of the Auburn School District’s budget. Property owners would pay an estimated $2.50 per $1,000 of the assessed value of their property for each year of the levy. Actual levy rates will depend on whether property value projections by the King County auditor come to fruition. Those projections were used in calculating levy rate estimates.

Funds from the levy are used for expenses the state of Washington does not fully cover, including all athletics and activities, special education, textbooks, supplies, counselors, nurses, grounds, building maintenance, honors and Advanced Placement education and transportation.

Many school districts use revenues generated from participation fees at the middle and high schools to defray costs to play sports. The ASD does not.

The majority of levy funds are dedicated to educational programs and operations. That includes additional teachers for a variety of programs along with additional textbooks and supplies, among other educational tools in district classrooms.

The election results are scheduled to be certified Feb. 23.