Link Transit sales tax increase appears to be passing; RiverCom measure approved overwhelmingly

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Link Transit’s effort to increase its sales tax two-tenths of 1 percent was approved by voters in Tuesday’s primary election.

Though the measure was narrowly rejected by Douglas County voters, the support it received in Chelan County put it over the top.

Also in a two-county vote, RiverCom’s effort to continue its sales tax received big support from both Chelan and Douglas county voters.

The Link tax increase will be used to pay for expanded service, routes and new buses.

There are still outstanding votes to be counted, but approval of the Link Transit tax increase seems certain.

Chelan County voters are approving the tax increase by about 58 to 42 percent. The yes votes were 8,673 and the no votes 6,256.

Douglas County was a different story, with the tax increase failing by 19 votes, 1,884 no votes to 1,865 yes votes.

Combined, the measure passed with more than 56 percent approval.

The measure will raise about $6 million in revenue for Link, with the first tenth of a percent increase starting Jan. 1 and the second kicking in in 2022.

Supporters were far more vocal than opponents leading up to the election.

In addition, a group called Citizens for Better Transit raised almost $50,000 in support of the tax increase.

The opposition was mostly contained to a Facebook page called Shrink Link and its 51 followers.

RiverCom sales tax continuation winning big

RiverCom, the Wenatchee Valley’s 911 system, received huge support from voters in both counties.

The measure is a continuation of a 0.1-percent sales tax that has been in place since 2009.

In Chelan County, voters were approving the tax with a whopping 85 percent support, or 12,041 yes votes to 2,143 no votes. Douglas County supported the measure with more than 83 percent support.

Combined, the two counties approved continuation of the tax with 15,411 yes to 2,842 no votes.

That 2009 tax for equipment upgrades was due to expire this year.

The RiverCom measure earned endorsements from first responders, city councils and the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.