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Voters giving veterans and human services a hand

Voters in King County are currently giving the nod to Proposition No. 1, the Veterans and Human Services Levy. As of Wednesday morning, voters are passing the issue at 66.25 percent.The financial impact is 5 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, or $10 annually for the owner of a $200,000 home. That sum is currently being collected, due to passage in 2005, and would be saved should the measure fail this time. If passed, tax collections would be for another five years with a possible increase in the collection rate tied to the cost of living.The money would be used for both capital facilities and to reduce costs for social issues like homelessness and criminal justice. According to the ballot wording, half the collected funds must benefit U.S. military veterans and their families.The one race on Plateau ballots was for Court of Appeals Judge Michael Spearman, who is leading the uncontested race with 97.38 percent of the votes.In Pierce County, residents of Buckley, Wilkeson and Carbonado had nothing to vote on unless they are served by East Pierce Fire and Rescue which had a property tax measure designed to continue funding for emergency medical services on the ballot.The replacement levy that would allow East Pierce to collect up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for the next 10 years was was passing with 72.34 percent approval.A second ballot item, also related to East Pierce Fire and Rescue, asks voters to narrow a four-person field to the final two that will advance to the November general election. Edward Egan is leading that race with 34.22 percent of the vote. Patrick McElligott is a close second at 33.38 percent. Rick Kilbourn, 18.75 percent, and Victor Proulx, 13.65 percent, were third and fourth.

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