Pete, with his companion Nina, served as “the foundation” of the zoo’s gorilla program when he first arrived in Seattle in 1969. Photo courtesy of Dennis Dow / Woodland Park Zoo

Pete, with his companion Nina, served as “the foundation” of the zoo’s gorilla program when he first arrived in Seattle in 1969. Photo courtesy of Dennis Dow / Woodland Park Zoo

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.

More in News

Auburn revels in High School Nation

Music festival entertains students, part of a 40-stop tour of schools throughout the country this fall

Community grand opening of the new Olympic Middle School set for Oct. 15

The Auburn School District celebrates the new Olympic Middle School with a… Continue reading

Crack seal project to impact various city streets | UPDATES

On Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 and Tuesday, Sept. 24, construction work by… Continue reading

‘See Ya Later’ Banquet and Auction returns to Emerald Downs on Oct. 5

The “See Ya Later” Banquet and Auction comes to Emerald Downs on… Continue reading

File photo
$30 car tab proposal returns to ballot in November

Tim Eyman-led initiative would restrict car tabs and transportation benefit districts in Washington.

Missing Enumclaw man who worked as BNSF engineer in Auburn found dead in Oregon

The girlfriend of an Enumclaw man who’d been missing for 17 days… Continue reading

Sprinkler system drowns apartment fire on Lea Hill, no one hurt

Valley Regional Fire Authority personnel responded to a small fire in one… Continue reading

Sound Transit CEO provides updates on light rail link extensions at Good Eggs breakfast

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff joined King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer’s… Continue reading

Chris Vance has his doubts about the Republican party and where it is going. COURTESY PHOTO
Pulling no punches

From chairman of the state Republican party to party pariah, Chris Vance explains why

Most Read