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Hospital annexation rejected

Voters made it abundantly clear Tuesday night they want no part of being annexed into Valley Medical Center's home turf.

The Renton-based hospital is one of the few healthcare facilities that operates as an independent taxing district, collecting money from property owners within its boundaries. The hospital had pushed Proposition No. 1, which would have pushed its boundaries to include Maple Valley, Black Diamond much of the rural area just north of Enumclaw.

Casting ballots were voters living within the area proposed for annexation, and they were adamant in their opposition. The measure generated 94 percent “no” votes. Final numbers Tuesday night showed 11,770 voting against the proposal and 739 in favor.

If the measure had passed, everyone added to the hospital district would have been assessed at the same rate as those already in the district, 59 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. That works out to $177 annually for the owner of a $300,000 property.

The measure was lambasted by governments in Enumclaw, Auburn and Maple Valley. An opposition group, Citizens Against Unfair Taxes, was quickly formed to battle the plan.

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