Mount Pleasant School District voters OK property tax levy

Residents of Mill A, Skamania districts defeat similar efforts

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Mount Pleasant residents delivered a strong message that they wish to keep their 119-year-old Mount Pleasant Elementary School afloat, decisively approving a new property tax levy.

Meanwhile, two other small Skamania County schools saw levies soundly rejected.

Skamania County voters in the Mount Pleasant district, east of Washougal, voted 71 percent to 29 percent in favor of the two-year levy.

All six Clark County ballots tallied were in favor of the tax, which will raise $100,000 in 2012 and 2013.

The estimated tax rate will be $2.30 per $1,000 of assessed value — about half the $4.30 rate in the neighboring Washougal School District, which stands to absorb the grades K-6 Mount Pleasant school should it fail.

That’s one likely reason why voters reversed a 61 percent to 39 percent defeat of a similar levy measure in 2008. Also, federal timber payments to Skamania County government and schools are seriously in peril, fueling the levy request.

Only once before, in 1995-96, have Mount Pleasant residents paid a school property tax levy. Skamania and Mill A school district residents never have.

That won’t soon change: Skamania district voters defeated a $350,000 levy, 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent. Mill A district voters rejected a $170,000 levy, 70.8 percent to 29.2 percent.

In the lone school board race, 18-year Stevenson-Carson district incumbent and current board president Hope Peterson won 50.9 percent of the vote, besting the 39.7 percent for challenger Crescence Morris. The two North Bonneville residents will square off in November.

BreAnna Porter finished with 9.4 percent of the vote.