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passing a tax levy or bond measure

Please refer to the Department of Revenue for specific information regarding property tax levies.

Passing an excess tax levy

The Washington State Constitution Article 7 Section 2 establishes the requirements for passing an excess levy.  ..."the number of persons voting ‘yes’ on the proposition shall constitute three-fifths of a number equal to 40% of the total votes cast in such taxing district at the last preceding general election…"

To validate, levies must pass with a 60% favorable majority. They must win a minimum number of ‘yes’ votes based on the number of people within the taxing district who voted in the previous November General Election.  That minimum number of ‘yes’ votes is determined by calculating 60% of 40% of the people who voted in the most recent General Election.

validation formula:
10,000number of people voting in the jurisdiction at the last General Election
x 40%

4,000minimum participation needed to validate
x 60%
2,400minimum "Yes" vote required to pass
To pass the levy using the validation formula above, there must be at least 2,400 "yes" votes even if only a total of 2,500 people vote on the levy.  A levy can still pass even if the issue does not receive the 40% voter turnout, but still receives the minimum number of "yes" votes.2,400
Yes votes
96%
100No votes4%
2,500Total votes 100%
example:


1,800Yes votes60%Using the validation formula above, this levy fails - - even though the "Yes vote is 60%. because the participation did not validate with a minimum of 4,000 people voting the minimum "yes" vote of 2,400 need to be achieved.
1,200No votes40%
3,000Total votes100%
example: 


4,050Yes votes57.86%Using the validation formula above, this levy fails - the participation validated with over 4,000 total votes cast, but the proposition must have at least a 60% favorable majority to pass.
2,950No votes42.14%
7,000Total votes100%


Passing a school district levy

In November 2007, Washington State voters passed Engrossed House Joint Resolution 4204 (50.61%) and changed the constitutional requirement as it relates to school district tax levy elections.  A school district levy requires a simple majority to pass. (50%+1 favorable vote)

Passing a bond

Bond propositions must receive a turnout equal to 40% of the total ballots cast in the district at the previous General Election and receive a 60% favorable majority calculated upon the turnout figure stated above.

validation formula:
10,000number of people voting in the jurisdiction at the last General Election
x 40%

4,000minimum participation needed to validate
x 60%
2,400minimum "Yes" vote required to pass
To pass the bond using the validation formula above, the district must have at least 4,000 voters participating in the election and at least 2,400 " Yes" votes
example:


2,730Yes votes70%Using the validation formula above, this bond fails - regardless of the percentage of "Yes" votes, the minimum participation was not met.
1,170No votes30%
3,900total votes100%
example:


3,000Yes votes60%Using the validation formula above, this bond passes - both the participation and supermajority requirements were met.
2,000No votes40%
5,000total votes100%
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