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Skagit jail measure overwhelmingly passes

Skagit County voters have approved a sales tax increase to fund a new jail in Mount Vernon, according to early vote totals reported in the Skagit Valley Herald.

"Nearly three in four voters countywide supported the measure, which will pay for a $60 million, 400-bed jail at one of two locations in the city of Mount Vernon. The sales tax will charge three-tenths of 1 percent, or 30 cents on every $100 purchase, starting next year.

With only about 2,000 votes left to count, voter approval of the measure is all but assured. Voters approved the measure 17,566 votes in favor to 6,448 against."

At one time officials in Whatcom and Skagit counties had broached the idea of building a jail to serve both jurisdictions, but those talks never got serious.

Reporter Ralph Schwartz, who has been following the saga of our own jail situation in recent months, has a story in the works exploring the ripple effect this vote might have in Whatcom County.