Voters approve two tax levy extensions

Overwhelmingly support for WhidbeyHealth EMS and South Whidbey parks

Two tax levy extensions on Tuesday’s ballot were overwhelmingly approved by voters, Island County Auditor’s Elections data shows.

The tax that provides half the operational budget for WhidbeyHealth Emergency Medical Services passed with 70 percent support; 10,181 people voted “yes” and 4,407 “no.”

Whidbey Island property owners who pay Island County property taxes will continue to pay 50 cents per $1,000 of their assessed property value to the EMS levy.

Residents living and voting on the south end of Whidbey voted 75 percent in favor of continuing to fund their parks and recreation system.

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District levy extension received 3,473 votes in favor and 1,172 against. It provides funding for facilities, maintenance and operations.

The parks property levies a tax of 20 cents or less per $1,000 of assessed valuation from 2019 to 2022.

“For a homeowner with a $250,000 home, the cost per year will go from $45 today to $50 for the next four-year period,” said Matt Simms, parks commissioner and treasurer.

“We want to thank citizens for supporting the parks and making the park district even stronger,” he said.

The current levies expires Dec. 31.

“We are extremely humbled by the immense continued support we receive from the community,” said Sean LeVine, paramedic and assistant manager of WhidbeyHealth EMS. “Their support allows us to continue the highest level of service we can provide, along with the various education and safety programs that make a difference in our community.”

As the volume of emergency 911 calls continues increasing around Whidbey Island, the agency needs to keep pace with demand, LeVine said. One possibility is incorporating Community Paramedicine, which is being established within other EMS systems regionally and nationally.

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