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King County

Proposition No. 1
Regular Property Tax Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Services

The King County council has passed Ordinance No. 17381 concerning this proposition for the automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) levy. This proposition would replace an expiring levy and fund continued operation of the regional AFIS program, which provides enhanced forensic fingerprint and palmprint technology and services to identify criminals and aid in convictions. It would authorize King County to levy an additional property tax of $0.0592 (5.92 cents) per $1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2013 and authorize annual increases by the percentage increase in the consumer price index or 1%, whichever is greater, with a maximum increase of 3%, for the five succeeding years. Should this proposition be:



This proposition would authorize King County to levy an additional regular property tax to support the continued operation and enhancement of the automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) program, and would replace the current voter-approved levy that will expire on December 31, 2012. The AFIS program is designed to improve the ability of law enforcement agencies within King County to identify and convict criminal offenders. Among other activities, the AFIS program matches crime scene fingerprints and palmprints to potential criminal suspects.


The proposed levy would be authorized for a six-year period with collection beginning in 2013. During the first year, the tax would be levied at a rate of 5.92 cents ($0.0592) or less per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of assessed valuation on all taxable property within King County. Annual increases for each of the succeeding five years would be limited to the percentage increase in the consumer price index or 1%, whichever amount is greater. However, the maximum increase in any of the five succeeding years would be 3%.

It was a horrific crime.  A 12-year old girl brutally assaulted in her bedroom by a stranger.  Police had no leads, so they called AFIS technicians to the scene.  An observant fingerprint examiner spotted a palmprint on a glass dresser top.  Because of the Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), the suspect was identified, arrested, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  


Maintaining essential crime fighting tools is why we ask you to vote yes for AFIS.  For 25 years, AFIS has been the preeminent crime-fighting tool for police in King County’s 39 cities and unincorporated areas.


DNA may get more attention, but fingerprints remain key to the identification and apprehension of criminals.  AFIS catches felons using false names and matches prints collected at crime scenes to unknown suspects.  Links to national databases makes for a powerful forensic tool that has solved scores of violent crimes, cold cases, and prolific burglars and car thieves. 


A regional AFIS provides services that no local police agency could fund on its own.  


Please vote yes to renew the AFIS levy.  AFIS is our top local crime fighter; we deserve to keep this marvelous technology that solves and reduces crime in King County.

Voters were promised that automated fingerprint ID would be "up and running" when last approved but now are told it's going to cost us even more. The Council uses homeowners as its ATM and the fact it conducts business in air-conditioned offices in front of the American flag doesn't make its decisions less odious. Seattle or King County residents now will have been taxed higher for an emergency response system, concert hall, playgrounds, youth offenders, veterans, public housing, sports stadiums, zoological gardens, education and libraries where patrons can view free online pornography during extended hours. If Seattle voters OK rebuilding the waterfront seawall, homeowners will be targeted for the biggest property tax increase yet and still more citizens will find home ownership impossible. Most state legislators outside Seattle believe homeowners also will be liable for cost overruns from the deep-bore tunnel. If homeowners are required to help pay for Seattle's next pro basketball palace, more delinquent accounts will be added to the Assessor's tax rolls, causing additional hardship for those already struggling to pay their assessments timely. Expect little, if any, federal assistance because elected politicians who once favored "earmarks" now respond with deafening ...silence!     

As a public safety investment, the proposed AFIS levy pays huge dividends, updating an aging system with one that includes new technology, reducing staffing costs, and operating our powerful crime fighting system for approximately the same rate that was passed by voters in 2006.  For the past 25 years, AFIS has served the people of King County well, and through this property tax method.  AFIS protects the citizens in King County. Vote yes.

Statement submitted by:
Steve Strachan, Dan Satterberg and John Diaz

Property taxes are too high and going higher because valuations are rising, again! Voter approval of property tax increases has produced more government spending initiatives and insatiable revenue demands. Some Metro bus drivers have earned six-figure annual incomes while some college graduates have six-figure student loan debt. The Council continues saying "yes" to renters and public employee unions, "no" to privatization and property tax relief. Citizens have had to economize, why not government?

Statement submitted by:
John H. Shackleford

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)
1253 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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