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City of Bellevue

Proposition No. 1
Levy Lid Lift for Parks and Open Space

The City Council of the City of Bellevue adopted Ordinance No. 6671 concerning property taxes for parks, open space, and related purposes. This proposition would increase the City’s regular levy for nine years by approximately $0.15/$1,000 to pay and finance the acquisition, improvement and development of parks, community/recreation facilities and open space, and $0.05/$1,000 for maintenance and operations, to a maximum rate of up to $1.1944/$1,000 for collection in 2023. The 2023 amount would be used to compute limitations for subsequent levies (through 2031) as allowed by RCW 84.55. Qualifying seniors, veterans, and others would be exempt, per RCW 84.36.

Should this proposition be approved:



The City of Bellevue has proposed a ballot measure to fund parks, open spaces, and related purposes.  If approved, Proposition 1 authorizes Bellevue to increase its regular property tax levy by up to $0.20 per $1,000 of assessed valuation (AV) in 2023.  This lift would continue for 9 years, and the 2023 levy amount would be used to calculate subsequent levy limits within this period. Qualifying seniors, disabled veterans, and others would be exempt, per RCW 84.36.


Of this increase, $0.15 per $1,000 AV would fund seven categories of capital projects: (1) open space, greenways, wildlife corridors, and trails; (2) community parks; (3) neighborhood parks like in Eastgate, Factoria, and Ashwood; (4) recreational and community facilities like aquatics and a cross cultural center; (5) waterfront restoration and development, (6) acquisition and development in areas like BelRed and Wilburton, and (7) off leash areas and emerging sports like cricket and pickleball.  The remaining $0.05 per $1,000 AV would fund new and existing maintenance and operations of parks, open spaces, and neighborhood, community, and recreational facilities.  The Bellevue City Council will allocate funding among these categories and may revise these categories. 


This measure would cost the average owner of a $1M home approximately $16.67 per month or $200 per year for 9 years.  If approved, Bellevue’s maximum total rate in 2023 would be up to $1.1944 per $1,000 AV.  Bellevue would not be required to levy the maximum rate and could continue to reserve capacity for other City purposes.   

Bellevue earned the “City in a Park” nickname because of our 2,800 acres of open spaces, trails, and well-maintained family-friendly parks.


The Levy Lid Lift for Parks and Open Spaces  request will fund the next phase of park investments and preserve Bellevue’s character as a great place to work and live. After completing all the promised projects in the 2007 levy, the city wants to do more to protect the environment and provide additional open space and play areas for generations to come.


Your ‘Yes’ vote authorizes an annual property tax of $200 per million assessed value. The funds will develop neighborhood trails, enhance wildlife corridors, and protect water quality in local lakes and streams. It will also create new neighborhood parks and enhance existing community centers and parks. The levy adds new fields for sports including cricket, pickle ball, baseball, soccer and youth football, plus more off-leash dog areas. This fiscally responsible package includes funding for parks and trails maintenance because Bellevue takes care of what it builds.


As a community that values its parks and open areas, we urge you to vote yes on the Parks and Open Space Levy.

Submitted by: Sherry Grindeland, Kevin Wallace, Jivana Aras,

Bellevue parks system occupies 2700 acres; it has 90 parks, 38 sports fields, 46 playgrounds, 64 sports courts, and 90 miles of trails.  Now, the Council proposes to raise our property taxes to increase City revenues by approximately $16 million per year for 9 years, about $144 million total.  The taxes will cost the average Bellevue taxpayer about $200 per year, or $1800 total.  Revenues (about $121 million total) would fund undefined new Parks Department projects, services, and O&M costs.


The Department has not developed a parks fee structure, capital recovery procedures, partnerships, or other means to ensure that new parks users pay a fair share of the cost for parks system growth.


The Department has no empirical data on the frequency of use of parks facilities or services by Bellevue citizens; and uses no specific or quantitative procedures or data to determine new parks requirements, relying instead on small sample surveys rather than gathering inputs from all Bellevue citizens.


The Department has multi-million dollar operating and CIP budgets and reserve funds that can be used for operating, maintaining, and improving the parks system.  There is no need for additional revenue for this Department.  Vote No on Proposition No. 1!


Submitted by: David Plummer,

We acknowledge that, much like any other city, Bellevue will continue to function without additional funding for the maintenance and expansion of our parks. The Council’s job is to fund ordinary investments like public safety, road maintenance and utilities. They unanimously agreed to request your authorization of these special investments in our City.  We urge you to review and approve this well-crafted plan to keep Bellevue the “City in a Park”.    Please vote “yes”.


Submitted by: Sherry Grindeland, Kevin Wallace, Jivana Aras,

The City has identified no specific requirements for new park facilities and services for present or future City residents. This proposition is simply a proposal to increase City tax revenues.  New or improved park projects or services can only be approved by future City Councils. The present City park system provides reasonable service for existing City residents.  Any additions to the present park system can easily be funded by existing City revenues and reserves.


Submitted by: David Plummer,

Simple majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Michael Shiosaki, Parks & Community Services Director, (425) 452-2805,

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