Roads Levy 2022
The San Juan County Council adopted Resolution No. 20-2022 concerning the imposition of a road levy lid lift. The resolution proposes to increase the county road levy from $0.56 to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value. The $0.44 increase will be used to maintain roads and marine facilities, repair storm damage, and enhance roads for pedestrians and cyclists. The approved levy rate may be increased based upon the 2023 amount, subject to the limit factors imposed in RCW 84.55.
Use the interactive map below to learn about a few of the proposed projects around the islands.
Use the Tabs Below to Learn More.
Discover Frequently Asked Questions, download a Fact Sheet, read the Pro/Con Arguments from the Voters Pamphlet, and use a rate calculator.
|Frequently Asked Questions||Answers|
|When will the levy be on the ballot?||The road levy will be included on the ballot for the November 8 general election. The ballot measure requires a simple majority (50% plus one) to be approved by the voters.|
|Is this a new tax?||This is a tax increase and is referred to as a “levy lid lift”. This levy lid lift proposes to increase the road levy from $0.56 to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is a $0.44 increase.|
|What will this cost me?||The road levy is a property tax that is assessed upon real property owners located in the unincorporated areas of San Juan County. For example, if your assessed value were $850,000, an increase of $0.44 per $1,000 of assessed value equates to a $374 increase in your property tax.|
|How much money will this generate?||The levy is expected to generate an additional $4 million in revenues for the road fund every year.|
|When will I pay it?||If passed, this amount will be added to property tax bills beginning in 2023.|
|What will this money be used for?||Road levy funds are constitutionally protected in the State of Washington and can only be spent to support county road purposes. Revenues generated by this levy will support repairs and replacements of failing culverts, updates to marine facilities, and widening of shoulders for multi-modal transportation.|
|What else does the County spend road levy funds on?||The County is responsible for over 270 miles of public roads, thousands of culverts, numerous marine facilities, bridges, trails, and other transpiration related facilities located on 7 different islands. Road funds support public and private business and their workers in the maintenance and improvement of these essential public facilities.|
|What will happen if the levy fails?||If the majority of voters do not approve the levy lid lift, the County would need to strategically plan for level of service reductions to minimize the impact to our community. Considerations for level of service reductions require the County to establish limits of ordinary maintenance equal to what the citizens of San Juan County are willing to afford. After reductions in capital improvement programs, level of service reductions commonly include designating segments of County roads as “unmaintained public roads."|
|What can I do as a resident/voter?||You are strongly encouraged to get out and vote on November 8. San Juan County relies on the support of its residents to keep all services running including Police, Fire/EMS, roads, parks, and more. If you have any questions about this levy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
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Argument for the levy
Argument against the levy
|Our County Roads and Docks need your help!
This critical infrastructure provides transportation corridors supporting the quality of life in our island communities. However, growth, storms and deferred maintenance have taken a toll on these vital facilities. Costs for materials, services and personnel have increased, outpacing the county’s ability to address these needs.
Your YES vote for the 2022 Road Levy provides:
For the replacement of scores of failing/inadequate culverts that contribute to flooding, erosion and road washouts.
To maintain and repair public docks and boat ramps. These are an essential link for island residents and visitors, recreational boaters, local businesses and emergency responders.
For shoulder enhancements along some of the busiest roads- allowing for more space for pedestrians and bicyclists outside of the traffic lanes, increasing safety for all road users.
Our transportation infrastructure is constantly exposed to the elements: rain, freezing temperatures, ice, snow, slides, wind, waves, tides and currents. All of these forces work to destroy our roads, boat ramps and docks. Storms are forecast to increase in frequency and severity. Regular maintenance and timely repairs minimize the disruption, damage and cost of protecting the decades of investment in our local transportation network. This proposed levy increase provides funding to be proactive.
We need to look no further than the ferries to see the folly of deferred maintenance and inadequate funding. Ferries breaking down, sailings being cancelled and service disruptions adversely affecting life and livelihoods in San Juan County.
Join us! Vote YES, 2022 Road Levy.
Dave Zeretzke, 42-year county resident, SJI
Rob Nou, first responder, Lopez Island
Chris Guidotti, Orcas Island
There are many users of our county roads and marine facilities. The cost burden of maintenance should be shared by all the users. Why should our property taxes pay for more tourist amenities? Heck no to raising property taxes 79% that results in even more tourist use of our infrastructure. Maybe the lodging tax should contribute toward maintenance of roads tourists use?
Maintaining our county roads is a legitimate concern. But the timing and amount of the proposed tax levy is something that must be considered. We’re all aware we are experiencing the worst inflation in forty years. The economy is barreling into a recession of as yet unknown duration and severity. The cost of living is soaring with everything. Families increasingly have to decide between paying rent and mortgages, fueling their vehicles to get to work, and buying school supplies for their children as well as groceries and the other necessities of life.
At a time like this, going to the voters to ask for a 79% increase in property tax is incredibly tone deaf. This clearly is not the time to increase our taxes. Governmental budgets inevitably requests amenities that don’t equate as priorities in hard times. These are indeed hard times.
Our County officials need to recognize this, scrutinize how existing revenues are apportioned, find ways to re-purpose funding for shortfalls, and assure all the users of our infrastructure pay their fare share.
Committee Against the Road Levy 2022
Daniel Schwartz, 6-year resident SJI
Renee Polda, 48-year resident SJI
Ron Whalen, 45-year resident SJI
Interested in learning how this levy impacts you? Use the rate calculator!