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City of Kent
Proposition No. 1
Levy to Support Kent Parks and Streets

The City Council of the City of Kent adopted Ordinance No. 4042 concerning property taxes to support City parks and streets. This proposition permits the City to increase the regular property tax levy by $0.37/$1,000 assessed valuation, for a regular levy of approximately $1.96/$1,000, for collection in 2013, to use this levy to compute levies for collection in 2014 through 2018 (with a 101% limit factor), and to use the amount of the levy for collection in 2018 to compute subsequent levy limits, as permitted by chapter 84.55 RCW, to fund improvements to City parks and streets. Should this proposition be:



If approved by the voters, this ballot measure would authorize the city to add to its regular property tax levy rate an additional 37 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. This increase would bring the regular property tax rate to $1.96 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation during a six-year period beginning in 2013 and ending in 2018. The purpose of this increase is strictly to maintain and improve existing city parks and street infrastructure. City Ordinance 4042, which established this ballot measure, absolutely requires that 23 cents of this increase be dedicated each year to maintaining and improving existing parks facilities and 14 cents of the increase be dedicated to maintaining and improving specific streets. Playgrounds, ballfields, trails, and other park amenities will be replaced, refurbished and improved, and about 35 different neighborhood street and local arterial projects will resurface, maintain, and improve pavements, sidewalks, disabled access and lighting. Based on the recommendation of two independent citizen committees, the city council determined that this levy lid lift is necessary “in order to maintain and improve the parks, streets, and related infrastructure to a service level that the citizens of the City deserve and expect.” A copy of the ordinance that identifies each specific park and street facility is available at, or a copy can be obtained from the city clerk’s office.

The City of Kent is faced with the prospect of closing parks or park facilities as well as creating road restrictions unless necessary infrastructure projects are undertaken. Many of our parks and streets are growing older and need repair to keep them from becoming unsafe liabilities. If we don’t take care of these assets, some may have to be closed or restricted until they can be made safe and usable again. The longer we delay, the higher the costs.


Continuous city budget reductions have forced constant reprioritizations. Citizens committees were formed; after which community members reviewed and prioritized the needs of our parks and roads, paring the list down to those most critical. You can see the list of specific projects at


Public safety carries costs. We know that no one wants higher taxes. However, as citizens, it is our responsibility to maintain the great park system and safe streets that our families and friends enjoy and use on a daily basis. This levy will help maintain this legacy for our children and grandchildren. This is a quality of life decision for our community.


Please join us in voting YES for the Kent parks and streets levy.

Roads: On a $300,000 home you pay approximately $2,610 in Bellevue and $3,969 in Kent in property taxes; over $1,300 more in Kent because businesses in Kent don’t have to pay to repair city roads which commercial trucks do most damage to. 

Parks: It’s the worst time to ask people to pay to repair assets that could be discarded.  Is it more important to repair a dock or to keep money in resident’s pockets for food?  Residents are already overburdened.  $111.00 for that same $300,000 homeowner can mean a choice between milk and paying taxes.

This is not the last ask discussed by levy committees.  The plan is for a large bond next year if they “sell” this idea for homeowner taxation. If the burden was spread between residents and businesses the solution would be affordable to all, but some council members, pressured by Chamber, would not ask for the help of business. This levy is not good for small business because it takes disposable income from residents who spend it in local restaurants and retail. It’s not good for residents because it takes the money residents would spend on necessities or save. This is too much money.

The Con statement is misleading. Kent isn’t Bellevue.
Home prices are higher in Bellevue, which also has a much larger retail tax base.

The Property tax levy of $0.37/$1000 applies to both residential and business property which includes the large warehouse facilities in the Kent Valley.

The City Council is seeking an additional $4-6 million in revenue from businesses for road maintenance.


The City Council will determine this revenue source by the end of 2012.”


Statement submitted by: Mark Prothero, Ken Sharp and Gina Tallarigo

Don’t be fooled; parks won’t close if the levy doesn’t pass. Kent thrives when we work together, citizens and businesses, to solve our community’s challenges. We agree that vibrant parks and drivable streets are priorities. However, for too long Kent residents have carried the tax burden while nearby communities have collectively funded their infrastructure needs—with lower taxes for citizens. This proposal is more of the same. It’s no wonder it narrowly passed our Council.

Statement submitted by:
Michelle McDowell and Christine Budell

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)
1253 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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