If you don't vote in August's Pullman primary, it's actually a vote against

PULLMAN, WA - The August primaries are right around the corner. In fact, registered Pullman voters should expect to see a ballot in the mail on Friday or Saturday.

Pullman's League of Women Voters said that it's vital for residents to vote in this primary election.

The next Election Day for Pullman residents is August 6, and the local League of Women Voters held a forum on Wednesday night to raise awareness about the ballot items.

"There should be no reason that you don't vote," said Pullman League of Women Voters President Deb Olson.

The three levies on the ballot will compensate for the money that the city has lost due to Washington's Initiative 747 which limits property tax increases to 1% annually.

"So what we're asking for, or the council's asking for this year is for us as voters to put those back up to the areas at which we originally passed them," said Levy supporter Mitch Chandler.

When the 2001 initiative went into effect, Pullman voters also passed a property tax levy for $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed value.

"So even though our intent of the voters was to keep it at $3.60, with this initiative, it's declined," said Chandler.

The new property tax levy would make up for the $0.65 decrease, and create more revenue for the general fund.

"Possibly restore some of the cuts to the police, fire and library," said Chandler. "So it's a very good thing."

The two other levies are for the Emergency Medical Services and the Metropolitan Park District. Each one would raise taxes by another $0.09 per $1,000 of assessed value. All three levies combined would increase the city's revenue by about $1.8 million annually. But in order for any of them to pass, they'll need a 60% approval rate among all registered voters.

"If you don't vote, it's actually a vote against," said Chandler.

Former Pullman Mayor Mitch Chandler spoke in support of the levies, but no one spoke in opposition to them.

"Sorry we don't have anybody sitting in the 'Opposed' chair, I tried very hard," said Olsen.

If you're a registered Pullman voter and you don't receive a ballot by Monday, call the Whitman County Elections office at (509) 397-5284.