Measure 2-123, the city of Corvallis renewal and expansion of its local option property tax levy on the May 21 ballot, passed by sizable margins in all nine wards.
And like its predecessors, it received its lightest amount of support, percentage-wise, from voters in Wards 1, 8 and 9, a Gazette-Times analysis shows.
The levy passed by a 72.93% to 27.07% percent margin, according to official certified results from the Benton County Elections office. Overall, 8.853 voters backed the plan for raising $29 million during the next five years, largely for library and Parks and Recreation services, while 3,286 voters opposed the measure. The highest support, 84.5%, came in Ward 5. The lowest, 66.9%, came in Ward 9.
The levy passed by the largest margin of the three the city has put forward in the past eight years. Measure 2-74 passed with 65.4% of the vote in 2011 and Measure 2-86 passed with 52.1% in 2013.
Here is a look at the ward-by-ward support:
• Ward 1 (southwest Corvallis): 67.5%
• Ward 2 (downtown and South Corvallis): 80.6%
• Ward 3 (South Corvallis): 74.1%
• Ward 4 (near Oregon State University): 77.8%
• Ward 5 (north of OSU): 84.5%
• Ward 6 (northeast Corvallis): 74.7%
• Ward 7 (northwest Corvallis): 77.5%.
• Ward 8 (northwest Corvallis): 67.8%
• Ward 9 (northeast Corvallis): 66.9%
Curtis Wright, the chair of the political action committee that worked in favor of Measure 2-123, and its city predecessors forwarded to the Gazette-Times an analysis of how Corvallis voted in recent city, Benton County county and school district elections for comparisons.
Wright added the November 2017 county levy and the May 2018 Corvallis School District facilities bond to the city levy mix and found that in the five elections, Ward 1, Ward 8 and Ward 9 always provided the three highest totals of “no” votes.
And in the case of the narrow 2013 city levy vote, all three wards voted to reject the measure.
The three wards also tend to be among the highest in terms of voter turnout. In the Measure 2-123 vote, Ward 8 led the city with 49.7% turnout, followed by Ward 7 (48.82%) and Ward 1 (44.2%). Ward 6 was sixth at 34.36%.
Countywide, no jurisdiction came close to equaling the city ward turnout. The rural Philomath precinct No. 21 came the closest at 42.45%. Northwest precinct No. 15 was at 38.89%, while the lowest was the 11.48% percent in Adair Village (precinct No. 12). The overall county turnout rate was 31.57%.
Turnout was lowest in the three city wards that offered the highest percentage support for Measure 2-123. Wards 5, 2 and 4 combined turned in 1,895 ballots, far less than Ward 8 (2,208) and Ward 7 (2,045) turned in all by themselves.