Bellevue School District may soon get $675 million to cover school building upgrades — the largest bond it’s ever asked for.
Tuesday evening’s results showed the bond passing with 62.52% of votes cast in approval. The money, which would be collected over 20 years, would pay for the cost of expanding or rebuilding five schools, security upgrades and an education service center.
To pass, a bond must receive 60% voter approval with a minimum of 40% voter turnout in the last general election. The turnout for Bellevue’s bond as of 8:10 p.m. Tuesday was 18,340, surpassing the 9,576 votes the measure needed to meet its 40% threshold, according to the King County Department of Elections website.
If approved, the tax rate for the Bellevue School District, including other levies and bonds, would total $2.46 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 3 cents from the current rate. The owner of a home valued at $850,000, for example, would pay $2,091 in Bellevue School District taxes, up from the current amount by $26.
Eight other school districts in King County had bonds or levies on the February ballot. Levies only require a simple majority to pass. Most of the measures, which collect between $6 million and $173 million, also appeared to be on the way to approval.
Bonds and levies are common ways for school districts to raise money. A bond means the agency is borrowing money and asking taxpayers to repay the amount and interest over a long period, even decades. Levies are property taxes collected each year that typically expire after a few years.
Tuesday evening’s results accounted for about half of all the ballots King County voters turned in, said Halei Watkins, a King County Department of Elections’ spokesperson. Election department officials projected about 32% voter turnout.
- Auburn: 52.06% voted yes on four-year $173 million technology levy; 55.61% voted yes on $5.83 million, six-year technology levy.
- Enumclaw: 56.07% voted yes on six-year $12 million technology.
- Issaquah: 61.52% voted yes on two-year, $103.5 million operations levy.
- Kent: 52.64% voted yes on two-year, $145 million operations levy.
- Riverview: 53.21% voted to approve $125 million bond lasting up to 22 years. As of late Tuesday, 4,479 ballots had been counted, surpassing the 1,950 minimum turnout; the measure needs to reach 60% approval to pass.
- Tahoma: 55.77% voted yes for four-year, $75 million-plus operations levy; 55.13% voted yes on four-year, $16.8 million technology levy.
- Tukwila: 64.6% voted yes on four-year, $33.95 million operations levy; 65.24% voted yes on four-year, $13.4 million technology and capital projects levy.
- Vashon Island: 71.6% voted yes on a four-year $6 million technology levy.
The County will continue to update these numbers throughout the week, as more ballots are counted.