Safety mill levy wins overall vote, rural vs urban voters differ

YELLOWSTONE COUNTY — Voters in urban parts of Yellowstone County helped pass the safety mill levy in Tuesday’s election, while voters in rural areas mainly voted against the proposal. The mill levy passed by a margin of about 1,450 votes with 32,387 ballots cast.
Voters were asked to approve an additional 8-mill levy that would generate an estimated $2.752 annually to “support the county attorney’s office in its prosecution of violent crime,” according to the wording on the ballot. The measure is estimated to increase property taxes by $10.80 per year on a home with assessed valuation of $100,000 or approximately $21.60 per year on a home with assessed valuation of $200,000.
Unofficial results tallied Tuesday night showed the safety mill levy passed with 16,903 votes in favor (52.19 percent) and 15,484 votes against (47.81 percent.)
In Billings, the measure passed in Ward 1, Ward 3, Ward 4 and Ward 5, but it was defeated in Ward 2.
Voters inside and outside the Laurel city limits turned down the mill levy, as did voters in Lockwood and other unincorporated areas of Yellowstone County.