Residents and visitors who shop in this border city likely will be helping to repair streets, sidewalks and trails after early results show voters overwhelmingly approved a sales hike tax Tuesday.
The city held a special election on a proposal to increase the sales tax 0.2 percent for the next 10 years to fund a new Transportation Benefit District. It would generate about $200,000 a year, the city estimates, for a list of transportation projects Blaine officials already have identified.
About 73 percent of the votes counted Tuesday favored the tax increase, though more ballots remain to be counted and results will not be certified until May 5.
The City Council passed a resolution in February placing the sales tax increase on the ballot for the April special election. At the time, they said a sales tax would be more equitable than a property tax increase, because visitors to the community also use the streets and sidewalks and would help pay for them.
Blaine voters approved a 10-year property tax levy for streets in 1996. When the levy expired, the City Council issued bonds for street maintenance and improvements, but bonds costs Blaine taxpayers more due to interest payments.