UPDATE: Ellensburg public transportation proposition passes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Ellensburg public transportation proposition passes

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ELLENSBURG, WA - Ellensburg residents have voted in favor of a proposition that allows the city to raise sales tax to fund transportation in the city.

The Kittitas County Auditor's Office counted ballots on Tuesday. They say 62.56% or 1,385 voters approved Proposition 1 and 37.44% or 2,214 voters, voted against the sales tax. 

Through Proposition 1, the city can apply a tax increase of up to 0.2% on all taxable retail sales throughout Ellensburg. The sales tax will last 10 years and will fund public transportation maintenance, operations, and improvement projects.  

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ELLENSBURG, WA - Next week, Ellensburg residents will receive ballots in the mail.  The ballot will allow residents to vote on Proposition 1, a proposition that could change the city's public transportation services.

Through Proposition 1, a tax increase of 0.2% on all taxable retail sales throughout the City of Ellensburg would be put in place.  That tax would fund the costs of public transportation maintenance, operations, and improvement projects.  Services that would include, but not be limited to: additional bus routes and service times, dial-a-ride services, and more service for the Yakima Ellensburg Commuter route.

Currently the City of Ellensburg's transit service, Central Transit, is funded by a grant from Washington's Department of Transportation.  Central Transit, is a partnership with the city and Central Washington University and is serviced by the non-profit organization, Hopesource.  Central Transit currently only serves one route.  

Ellensburg City Councilmember, Bruce Tabb, tells NBC Right Now that Proposition 1 is about making an investment to help the serve the community.  

"What you're doing is building capacity, you're building capacity in a community that can respond in a way that makes it a healthy strong vital community that moves into the future with those kinds of values and qualities intact," said Tabb.

Ellensburg residents should see ballots in the mail as early as Tuesday, April, 5th, and ballots are due on April 26th. 

If the prop passes, public transit would be controlled locally, and it expires in 10 years.  New transit services could start as early as January 2017. and the earliest the tax increase would begin would be October of this year.  

For more information on the Proposition, visit The City of Ellensburg's website - here.

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