King County logo
City of Lake Forest Park

Proposition No. 1
Levy for Retention of Basic Public Safety and Other Services

The City Council of the City of Lake Forest Park, adopted Resolution No. 1202 concerning voter approval of its regular property tax levy.

To retain basic public safety, parks, community and other governmental services, this proposition would (1) increase the regular property tax levy above the limit factor, to a rate of $1.85 per $1,000 assessed value for collection in 2011; (2) increase the 2012-2016 levy amounts by the CPI inflation rate; and (3) authorize use of the 2016 levy amount as the base for computing levies in succeeding years; all as set forth in Resolution No. 1202.

Should this proposition be approved?



The City of Lake Forest Park relies on property taxes to provide basic governmental services such as police and parks. The City of Lake Forest Park is asking voters to decide whether to authorize an increase in property taxes to a levy rate of $1.85 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This increase would apply only to the Lake Forest Park portion of your property tax bill, not your entire tax bill.

The levy’s purpose is to retain existing levels of the City’s public safety, parks, community and other services. The City has already reduced its 2009-10 budget by $931,000 and laid off 8% of its employees, due to structural budgetary problems caused by I-695 and I-747 and exacerbated by the current economy. The City is facing a projected budget deficit of $692,000 for the year 2011.

If approved, this levy would fill the budget gap projected for 2011, and allow the City to avoid the need for additional public safety, parks, community and other governmental service reductions; staff layoffs; or utility tax or rate hikes. The increase would amount to about $138 per year or $11.50 per month for the first year for an average Lake Forest Park home. The levy would run for six years, and would increase annually by inflation (measured by the Consumer Price Index) for the years 2012-2016. The 2016 property tax amount would be used as a base for calculating future years’ property taxes, which would be subject to existing statutory limits.

Lake Forest Park’s Citizen Task Force on the City’s Financial Future reviewed the financial issues facing our city.  Their report recognized the existence of a serious and ongoing financial problem: property tax growth is capped at 1%, while city expenses increase at an average inflation rate of 2.7%.

The resulting deficit can be addressed in a number of ways, but basically it boils down to cutting expenses, spending rainy day reserve funds, increasing revenue, or some combination of these things.  We believe our city council wisely chose to follow a multi-pronged approach to our financial problem.  After cutting expenses and spending a portion of the city’s reserve funds, they decided that the question of whether or not to further cut our city’s services should be a decision best made directly by the voters.

Without new revenues, LFP must further and substantially reduce city services including police, parks, community services, and city infrastructure.  We believe that our residents want to keep LFP the kind of city it is, and will, after thoughtful consideration, support this ballot measure so that Lake Forest Park remains the special place we are proud to call home.

Vote YES on Proposition 1.  Thank you.

There are times when our elected representatives lose touch with us and we must say NO. This is one of those times.

Proposition 1 raises taxes to Lake Forest Park residents beyond reasonable limits. It’s a demand for taxpayer dollars to support a government which is unwilling to live within its means.

Levy Year 1 (2011): During difficult economic times, Prop. 1 would raise the city levy rate 38%. This is after the 2010 15% increase in drainage fees, new $20 vehicle fee, and an increase in property taxes to the maximum allowed.

Years 2 through 6: Taxes would go up at the rate of inflation using annual CPI adjustments without limits. By 2017 this could result in a cumulative increase of 40% - 50% or more.

At the end of Year 6 the new higher tax basis would become fixed as a permanent tax increase.

Let’s remind our city government who we are:  a residential community, affordable to seniors and working families alike, working hard to balance our budgets in this economy.  It’s the city’s duty to work just as hard to remain within its current resources without burdening us with excessive tax increases.

Vote NO on Proposition 1.  

The financial issues facing our city are not a one-time problem simply solved by further cuts in city services.   As long as inflation rates of 2-3% continue in the face of the present 1% limit in levy increases, our city each year will have to further cut it services.

Don’t be fooled by the confusion between “rates” and “taxes”.  Even with this proposed levy, our rates will be lower than ten years ago.  Vote YES!

Statement submitted by: Roger G. Olstad, Philip Sluiter and Betsy Piano  •  www.YESLFP.ORG

Don't be misled. This isn't about maintaining basic services. The resolution authorizing Proposition 1 specifies that revenues can be used to "restore positions and services previously eliminated."  This isn't controlling costs.

This series of compounding tax increases does not address the real issue. It's a stopgap measure and represents the city's failure to manage our government within the existing revenues.

Keep our city affordable for seniors and working families alike.

Vote NO on Proposition 1.

Statement submitted by: Ned Lawson, Carolyn Armanini and Donovan Tracy   •

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)

1236 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

Sign up for email or text notifications