FOLLOWUP: King County Parks levy will be on your August ballot

(WSB February photo)

Two months after King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and others came to Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center to unveil the successor to the expiring county parks levy (WSB coverage here), it’s officially on its way to the ballot. The County Council voted 8-1 today to send it to voters in August. As noted in the announcement of today’s vote:

The proposed levy would generate an estimated $810 million over six years. It would cost the owner of a home that has an assessed property value of $500,000 about $7.70 per month.

King County Parks would use proceeds from the levy to:

*Build and design regional trails, including missing links and crossings over rivers and highways
*Acquire more open space lands that provide recreation opportunities for people and protect forest lands, water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife
*Improve trailheads by adding parking and signage
*Repair hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails
*Replace turf on 11 ballfields
*Rehabilitate play area equipment in six parks
*Maintain park infrastructure, such as pathways, roofs, fencing, and electrical systems

The full ordinance text is here. Though the levy is expected to generate more than double the $396 million of its expiring predecessor, the fine print shows property owners will be paying less per $1,000 – 16.8 cents is the starting rate in the new levy, compared to 18.7 cents in the old one.

11 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: King County Parks levy will be on your August ballot"

  • imanon April 17, 2019 (2:32 pm)

    Assuming  a home assessed at $500,000 stays assessed at $500,00 for all six years that would be $554.40  per home for this levy.  ($7.70/month X 72 months).

    • St April 18, 2019 (1:12 am)

      These add up when you consider other levies and huge increases as with the McCleary decision. 

  • West Seattle Hipster April 17, 2019 (2:33 pm)

    Clever of them to slip it on an August vote which generally does not get significant turnout.  I be voting no on all new levies until local politicians learn to spend our money efficiently.

    • wetone April 19, 2019 (4:29 pm)

       I agree 100%. It amazes me the amount of money our politicians will spend holding special elections. People need to pay attention, as they do this for a reason. In this case more big tax hikes are in the works very soon.  I will be voting no as this city is incapable of spending money responsibly and on what it was proposed for…….     

      • WSB April 19, 2019 (7:15 pm)

        This is a *county* levy, not a city levy.

  • TJ April 17, 2019 (4:28 pm)

    The Seattle way….double the amount of expiring levies. Then those who vote for these levies can cry about the lack of funding a year later, while on the other hand also crying about the cost to live in Seattle and the middle class getting pushed out. 

  • MJ April 17, 2019 (5:42 pm)

    Enough levies, it’s always for popular items.  Once the politicians get levy funding general funds that once went to parks get supplanted to programs that may not have popular support.  Just look at Seattle with the Library Levy that was supposed to have been a one time request is now being presented again and significantly bigger.  City tax revenues have greatly increased thus begging the question why the need for the levy?

  • Howard April 18, 2019 (11:52 am)

    Seattle has the most regressive tax system in the most regressive tax state in the nation and people call us liberal.  

    • AJP April 18, 2019 (9:48 pm)

      Indeed. Enough with sales taxes and property tax levies. Low income earners pay 18% of their income on taxes, while high income earners pay about 4%. 

  • flimflam April 18, 2019 (4:43 pm)

    ugh, here we go again…

  • JayDee April 18, 2019 (7:09 pm)

    I agree with all. When has my income doubled every 4 or so years or so? Never. But levys? Yes indeed. All are always deserving or so the proponents make them out to be. But when the associated costs get moved “off the general revenue books” do we see a refund? McCleary was clearly an institutional shortcoming but the City of Seattle and King County have no shame in raising levies. I suppose we will also pay for City and County pay raises, too, to make up for this?  

Sorry, comment time is over.