passing a tax levy or bond proposition

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:

  10,000   number of people voting in the jurisdiction at the last General Election
    x 40%
   4,000     minimum participation needed to validate
    x 60%
   2,400     minimum 'yes' vote required to pass

To pass the levy using the validation formula above, there must be at least 2,400       2,400  Yes votes     96%
'yes' votes even if only a total of 2,500 people vote on the levy.  A levy can still              100   No votes       4%
pass even if the issue does not receive the 40% voter turnout, but still receives the    2,500   total votes 100%
minimum number of ‘yes’ votes.

example:

   1,800   Yes votes        60%     Using the validation formula above, this levy fails -- even though the ‘yes’ vote is
   1,200   No votes         40%     60%, because the participation did not validate with a minimum of 4,000 people
   3,000   total votes     100%     voting, the minimum ‘yes’ vote of 2,400 needed to be achieved.

example:
  4,050   Yes votes    57.86%   Using the validation formula above, this levy fails – the participation validated
  2,950   No votes     42.14%   with over 4,000 total votes cast, but the proposition must have at least a 60%
  7,000   total votes      100%   favorable majority to pass.

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:
  10,000    number of people voting in the jurisdiction at the last General Election
   x 40%
   4,000     minimum participation needed to validate
   x 60%
   2,400     minimum '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:

   2,730   Yes votes       70%     Using the validation formula above, this bond fails - regardless of the percentage
   1,170   No votes        30%     of 'yes' votes, the minimum participation was not met.
   3,900   total votes    100%

example:
   3,000   Yes votes       60%     Using the validation formula above, this bond passes - both the participation and
   2,000   No votes        40%     supermajority requirements were met.
   5,000   total votes    100%