Centralia Levy Failing With 68 Percent No Votes


As of the second vote count released Wednesday afternoon, the Centralia School District replacement levy was failing with 68 percent of voters saying "no."


Centralia voters appear to have resoundingly shut down the Centralia School District’s request for an increased levy amount, with 70 percent of voters casting “no” votes as of the first vote count Tuesday evening. 

A total of 4,688 ballots were counted as of Tuesday night, with 3,295 “no” votes and 1,393 “yes” votes. A total of 13,065 registered voters were eligible to cast ballots. 

The school district asked to increase its levy to $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a 66 percent increase from the previous year’s levy rate of $1.50 per $1,000. 

The district argued that the levy amount was in line with average levy amounts calculated since 2013 in the district.

The replacement levy would have generated approximately $6.6 million in local revenue, according to the school district. The district’s bond rate is decreasing to $1.65 per $1,000, according to information on the Centralia School District website, which the district said would offset the increased levy cost, arguing that it resulted in no “new” taxes for residents. 

Residents, however, in letters to the editor sent to The Chronicle, argued the district should have been more careful when spending additional money allocated to the district due to the state Legislature’s “McCleary fix” — funding meant to fully pay for basic education as ordered by a judge. The district gave teachers a 24 percent raise in 2018, as calculated by the Washington Education Association, after a short strike.

The Chronicle will update this story.