Prop 1 would fund parks, zoos and open spaces

King County voters could approve the renewal and increase of the levy on the August ballot.

King County voters will be asked to approve a renewal and expansion of a property tax levy on the August ballot. The levy will fund parks, zoos and trails across the county.

Proposition 1 would provide funding for county and city park districts as well as facilities like Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium and trails. It would authorize another six-year property tax beginning in 2020 at $.1832 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It only requires a simple majority, or more than 50 percent of voters, to approve it.

King County owns and operates about 28,000 acres of parks and more than 175 miles of trails. Three prior levies have been approved by county voters in 2003, 2007 and 2013. The most recent levy expires at the end of 2019. During the last two cycles, towns and cities in King County have additionally received funding from the levies.

The campaign in favor of the proposition had raised more than $200,000 as of July 1. No groups opposed to the levy had registered with the Public Disclosure Commission as of July 1. The largest donors supporting the levy included the Woodland Park Zoological Society, which had donated more than $121,500 and the Seattle Aquarium which donated $50,000. A support statement for the proposition said it would raise the typical homeowner’s property taxes by around $2.28 a month over the current levy.

In the 2008 and 2013 levies, towns and cities could use proceeds from the tax for open space and natural land acquisitions and to develop local trails that supported connections to regional systems. According to the levy text, about 500,000 people in King County live without easy access to parks and open spaces, especially for under-served populations like people with disabilities.

The August levy would exempt low-income seniors, disabled veterans and others with disabilities from the regular property tax increase on their homes.

As much as $8 million could be sent to the Seattle Aquarium to be used for capital costs for the Ocean Pavilion project. As much as $44 million would go to publicly owned pools, and $22 million to habitat restoration and open space purchasing.

The rest of the levy would be used for open spaces and an equity grant program as well as preserving and conserving open spaces and natural areas. Some 8 percent of levy proceeds would go to towns and cities in the county, and 5 percent of the levy proceeds would go to the Woodland Park Zoological Society for environmental education, horticulture and maintenance of buildings and grounds as well as species conservation.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

One survey conducted by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development found students who eat free breakfasts at school had 17.5 percent higher scores on math tests. File photo
SVSD distributes tens of thousands of extra meals amid pandemic

Congress hasn’t renewed the program, which provided twice as many student meals for free last spring.

Living Snoqualmie founder hired as North Bend PIO

Living Snoqualmie editor and writer Danna McCall has been hired by the… Continue reading

A photo of the carousel with horses. Contributed by North Bend Art and Industry
Historic carousel arrives in North Bend for planned Center for Art

The carousel will be the centerpiece for the planned regional arts center.

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Photo courtesy of Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue.
Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue charge renewal is passing

The Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue benefit charge is passing with 100%… Continue reading

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Vote election badge. File photo
5th District results: Ramos leads House race; Anderson edging Mullett for state Senate

Early results have been reported in the 5th Legislative District races from… Continue reading

Most Read