The Pierce Transit measure, Proposition 1, is still failing but inched closer to approval, based on election results Sunday that showed it gained 128 votes since Saturday.
Sunday tallies showed 50.18 percent of the voters had rejected the measure and 49.82 percent had approved it, 94,951 to 94,256. An estimated 19,172 ballots were left to be counted.
If passed, the measure would raise sales tax within Pierce Transits boundaries by three-tenths of 1 percent, to 9.8 percent in Tacoma.
A recount isnt a given, even with the close margin. The rules for automatic recounts in candidate races dont apply to ballot measures. Either party can request a full or partial recount after results are certified, but theyd have to fund it, according to Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson.
That could cost up to about $200,000, shes said.
Supporters will wait until results are finalized to decide whether to request a recount, theyve said. Opponents have said the campaign against the measure wouldnt be able to fund the $200,000.
Pierce Transit officials say the increase is needed to recover from the hit the agencys sales-tax collections took in the recession.
Weekend service and buses after 7 p.m. will be cut if the measure fails, and disability service will be reduced, agency officials say.
Its not the first time the sales tax increase has been requested. Voters turned down an identical measure in 2011. Opponents say the increase would drive business out of the county, and that Pierce Transit officials should do more to reduce employee costs.
A statewide measure to authorize charter schools also remained close after Sundays tallies, passing 50.82 percent to 49.18 percent at 1,373,910 votes to 1,329,717. Supporters of Initiative 1240 declared victory Saturday, but there are still more than 250,000 ballots that need to be processed, officials estimate.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268