After the final votes were tallied, the Mercer Island School District levy renewals passed with solid percentages in the Feb. 8 special election.
The Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy (Proposition No. 1) and Replacement Capital Projects and Technology Levy (Proposition No. 2) needed simple majorities to pass, and when King County Elections certified the final results on Feb. 18, they stood at 73.66% and 72.12% approval, respectively.
Prop. 1 garnered 5,587 yes votes and had 1,998 no votes, while Prop. 2 amassed 5,471 yes votes and had 2,115 no votes.
Citizens for Mercer Island Public Schools (CMIPS) members said on the elections site that more than 70% of Mercer Island voters supported previous levies. According to the Mercer Island School District, residents haven’t rejected any levies or renewals in the past.
A Mercer Island PTA Council mailer noted that all Island schools PTAs endorsed the levy renewals. In a previous Reporter article, Kathy McDonald of CMIPS said her grassroots group informed voters that the items on the ballot were not property tax increases or new taxes, but renewals.
According to the elections website, passage of the four-year Prop. 1 will replace an expiring levy and allow the levy of $12 million in property taxes for the school district to collect each year from 2023-2026. Approval of six-year Prop. 2 will also replace an expiring levy and raises a range of $7.7 million to $8.4 million in property taxes within the school district for collection each year from 2023-2028.
The levy renewals are aimed at financing school nurses district-wide, critical science, math, art, music and other programs and much-needed updates to facilities and technology and more, according to the PTA Council.
In a video posted on the Mercer Island School District Facebook page, Superintendent Donna Colosky noted: “Your strong approval of our EP and O and Capital Technology levies allows our schools to keep students as the priority. On behalf of our students, thank you for your continued dedication to their education.”