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King County

Proposition No. 1
Conservation Futures Levy

The King County council passed Ordinance 19458 concerning funding to protect open space lands in King County. This proposition would provide funding to pay, finance, or refinance acquisition and preservation of: urban green spaces, natural areas, wildlife and salmon habitat, trails, river corridors, farmlands and forests. It would authorize restoration of the county’s RCW 84.34.230 conservation futures property tax levy to a rate of $0.0625 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2023 and use the dollar amount of the 2023 levy for the purpose of computing subsequent levy limitations under chapter 84.55 RCW. Should this proposition be:



King County's conservation futures program was initiated in 1982 to protect valuable open space lands in King County. If approved, Proposition 1 would provide additional funding for the activities and expenditures of this program as authorized by chapter 84.34 RCW, including acquisition and preservation of urban green spaces, natural areas, wildlife and salmon habitat, trails, river corridors, farm and agricultural lands, and forests, all within King County. The conservation futures advisory committee established in county code would continue to advise the county executive and county council on acquisition and funding recommendations based on a competitive process set out in county code.


The proposition would authorize King County to restore its conservation futures tax (CFT) in 2023 to the rate of 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The CFT was authorized at this rate in 1982, but state limitations on annual property tax growth have reduced the county's allowable rate over time to approximately 3.12 cents in 2022, even though the maximum statutory rate remains 6.25 cents. Voter approval of this levy lid lift under RCW 84.55.050 is required to restore the CFT levy to the statutory rate of 6.25 cents for 2023. The dollar amount of the 2023 levy would be used to calculate the maximum allowable levies in future years as allowed by RCW 84.55.0101. Qualifying seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities would be exempt as provided in RCW 84.36.381 and Ordinance 19458.

The lands and waterways that define our region protect air and water quality, and contribute to a resilient future as we experience climate change. Proposition 1 restores voter-approved funding to protect these “last, best places” throughout King County. To date, the Conservation Futures program has safeguarded over 100,000 acres of land, including Cougar Mountain, Duwamish Waterway Park, and the Sammamish River Trail.

With your vote we can accelerate forest, habitat, and farmland preservation while supporting communities and regions most at risk from climate change, most in need of cooling, and improving access for historically marginalized communities. That’s in addition to the health benefits open spaces offer: stress reduction, recreational opportunities, and improved quality of life. Let’s ensure this legacy for future generations.

Restoring this important fund will cost the average homeowner about $2 more per month, with relief available to qualified low-income seniors and other households. Funding recommendations are made by an independent advisory committee and subject to external audit.

Join The Nature Conservancy, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Forterra, Trust for Public Land, The Wilderness Society, Vashon-Maury Land Trust, Seattle Parks Foundation, REI, Executive Dow Constantine and Councilmembers, elected and community leaders in support of Proposition 1.


Submitted by: Sally Jewel, De'Sean Quinn, Dow Constantine,

According to Water Land Resources Department, King County already controls/owns 61.2% of the land in King County!  That’s right, government already controls almost two-thirds of the land, yet they want more.  Not long ago, King County announced they didn’t have resources to empty trash in the parks, yet they want even more land they admit they do not have the resources to maintain.

The county already has a conservation futures fund that collected $61,700,000 over the last 3 years.  Never satisfied, they now want you to pay even more.  Existing land use laws severely limit rural growth.  These properties are already largely open to provide environmental benefits to everyone.  Only private property owners have incentive to maintain/improve their own property.  If everybody owns the property, then no one person is incentivized to maintain it, increasing the likelihood of fire, pollution, and squatting.

More open space means fewer acres will be taxed, resulting in higher property tax for existing property owners.  Less private property will also translate to less housing. There needs to be a balance of land uses.  Open space is important, but enough is enough.  At 61.2% and growing, King County passed the balanced percentage a long time ago.


Submitted by: Michael Fisette, Chuck Best,

Protecting farms, forests, and open space supports clean air and water, climate resilience, local food, and recreation for our growing population. Over 500,000 neighbors lack close-to-home access. This measure safeguards open space from sprawl, deforestation, and loss of access-- where needs are greatest.  


Opponents misstate facts: King County owns just over 3% of lands. Federally-owned Cascade forests are inaccessible to many. Taxes are determined by home valuation- not public land ownership. Vote Yes!


Submitted by: Sally Jewel, De'Sean Quinn, Dow Constantine,

61.2% is an overabundance of conservation land.  The proponents trot out tired phrases like “historically marginalized communities.”  The $2 per month is based on unrealistically low house prices.  As we’ve all seen, these taxes grow into one big enormous tax.

The cooler temperatures claim is baseless; if you believe it, we’ve got a bridge to sell you.  King County Government already controls way too much land.  Stop this greed; stop the land grab now!

Submitted by: Michael Fisette, Chuck Best,

Simple majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Christie True, Director, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, (206) 477-4550,

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