By Stefanie Donahue
With just a few days left before the April 25 special election, Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein is reminding voters to get their ballots in on time.
Ballots should be postmarked by April 25 or deposited at an official drop box location by 8 p.m. on election day. Drop-off locations in Blaine and Birch Bay include the Blaine library, located at 610 3rd Street, and North Whatcom Fire and Rescue, located at 4581 Birch Bay–Lynden Road. Ballots can also be dropped off at the Whatcom County Auditor’s office, located at 311 Grand Avenue, suite 103 in Bellingham or at the drop box located in the south parking lot of the Bellingham courthouse, located at 201 Grand Avenue.
Voters within Blaine precincts 301, 302, 303 and 304 should all have received ballots by April 14. For those who have yet to receive a ballot, contact the auditor’s office election division at 360/778-5102 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
On the ballot is the choice of whether or not to fund the newly formed Transportation Benefit District (TBD) through an increase in Blaine’s sales tax. If approved by a simple majority of voters, the sales tax would go up from 8.5 to 8.7 percent.
The .2 percent increase is expected to generate $200,000 in revenue to fund transportation projects for streets, sidewalks and trails for the next 10 years. Lynden, Bellingham and Ferndale have already approved similar measures.
“Funding from a sales tax (as opposed to a property tax increase) means that visitors to Blaine will contribute to the maintenance and improvement of streets and trails they use, as well,” read a statement released by the city of Blaine on April 10. “A significant amount of revenue from the local sales tax comes from Canadians who use mailbox services and purchase dairy products in the city.”
To learn more about the TBD and projects that are eligible to benefit from sales tax funding, visit http://bit.ly/2pD7bAj. Public works director Ravyn Whitewolf is available to answer questions at 360/332-8820 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.