FCPD: that’s right, Fall City Park District. Like the ring to that? Well, like everything else, it comes with a price tag.
On Feb. 3, the people within Fire District 27 and a few more get the opportunity to vote if we want to form a park district. If this proposition is passed, a municipal corporation would be established with five elected commissioners who would have the power to levy an annual tax on property within the district of up to 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. They would also have the power to contract indebtedness, issue general obligation bonds and exercise the right of eminent domain. All of this so there can be local control over the two parks in Fall City. Sounds like it could be an expensive endeavor.
Let’s discuss money. According to the Fall City Parks Web site, “the residents who worked together to establish this park district have committed to recommending commissioners approve a maximum tax of 9.5 cents per $1,000 assessed property tax.” It appears to me the 9.5 cents is a “low ball” figure to get this proposition passed. Keep in mind the five commissioners are under no obligation to take this suggestion. If we pass this proposition we are giving the commissioners the right to approve any levy rate up to 75 cents per $1,000. This would be $225 per year for a $300,000 home, not the suggested $28.50. I don’t know any of the people running for commissioner, so I’m not questioning their integrity, but I can’t help but think about our hospital board of commissioners and how they constantly seem to disregard the will of the people. By the way, commissioners can be paid up to $104 for each meeting they hold.
As members of the community, we should all keep in mind some additional taxes that we might be faced with this next year. The school district will be coming with a new ballot measure this year which, if passed, will increase our taxes for schools. If Fire District 27 is consolidated into Eastside Fire and Rescue, that could also mean additional taxes. I’m just not up to paying more taxes so I can have a say over our extensive park system.
So if this park district is not approved, what happens? I guess we go on as before. We still have the two parks. King County and possibly the Snoqualmie Tribe pays for maintenance and upkeep. We continue to enjoy our parks. We don’t need a park district or a tax increase! Please vote no.