Election certified, Oroville and Tonasket voters approve school levies

Election officials certified the special election Feb. 23 for those school districts that ran levies throughout the county.

OKANOGAN – Election officials certified the special election Feb. 23 for those school districts that ran levies throughout the county with most school districts, including Oroville and Tonasket passing with more than enough votes.

It only takes a simple majority of over 50 percent to approve levies. The final certification was made on Feb. 23

In the last count, Oroville School District’s two-year levy received 543 (59.41 percent) cast in favor of the levy which will be collected in 2025 and 2026. Tonasket School District’s four-year levy had 943 (55.54 percent) in favor of approval.

Oroville asked voters within the Oroville School District to approve a two-year Replacement of an Expiring Educational Programs and Operation Levy with $1,565,000 to be collected each year in 2025 and 2026 at an estimated rate of $2.23 per thousand of property evaluation. Passage will allow Oroville School District to replace an existing educational programs and operation levy that will expire at the end of the calendar year 2024. The taxes collected will be used to pay expenses of educational programs and operations that are not fully funded by the state, such as extra-curriculars like athletics, student safety, technology, facility maintenance and custodial supplies, staffing beyond the state-funded models, special education costs beyond state and federal funding, utility and liability insurance costs, and unique programs like its Greenhouse project.

Tonasket went to voters to approve an estimated levy rate of $1.85 per thousand in property valuation. The tax would collect $1,506,558 in 2025, $1,581,886 in 2026, $1,660,980 in 2027 and $1,744,029 in 2028. Passage of the four-year levy authorizes the district to levy the excess taxes replacing the current levy which expires at the end of 2024, on all taxable property within the district, for educational programs and operations expenses not funded by the state.

Other school districts that ran levies and saw big returns in their favor included Nespelem, 82.11 percent; Omak, 61.98 percent; Methow Proposition 1, 70.59 percent and Methow Proposition 2, 70.02 percent. Brewster School District had fewer people in favor of the levy but it passed with 51.05 percent of the vote.