King County Councilmember Larry Phillips recently sent out the following e-mail:
King County Parks Levy on August Ballot
I am pleased to announce that today the Metropolitan King County Council approved sending to the voters—on the August 2013 ballot—a six-year property tax levy lid lift proposal to raise revenue for the maintenance and operations of the County’s regional park system, as well as funding for local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo. If approved by voters, the proposed levy would replace two voter approved measures set to expire at the end of 2013.
The King County Parks system has evolved from 150 acres in 1938 to more than 26,000 acres today, including regional county parks and trails such as Marymoor Park, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center and the Sammamish River Trail.
The adopted legislation sends to voters a six-year property tax levy lid lift of 18.77 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – an estimated $56 per year for the owner of a home valued at $300,000. If approved by voters, the proceeds from the levy would go toward funding the maintenance and operation of King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 26,000 acres of open space. Levy funds would also be used to expand the regional trails system – including developing the Lake to Sound Trail – and to expand the Community Partnership and Grant program, as well as to support local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo.
The levy proposal is consistent with King County’s practice to end the use of county General Fund monies on regional parks, trails and open spaces, and on local facilities in the rural unincorporated areas, so the primary source of funding for the parks system is the voter-approved levy. King County also continues its regional business plan for parks with support from non-profit, corporate and community partners.
The beauty of King County and our great natural resources are only surpassed by the energy and creativity of the people who live here, and the community support for our parks system is the perfect example of this fact. Voters will decide in August whether to continue supporting a parks levy that provides funding to operate and maintain parks like Marymoor and Cougar Mountain, and to expand the regional trail system.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this important news with you.
Larry Phillips, Councilmember
Metropolitan King County Council, District Four
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104-3272