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King County

Proposition No. 1
Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy

The King County Council passed Ordinance No. 18890 concerning replacement of an expiring parks levy. If approved, this proposition would provide funding for county, town, city and park district parks, and for open space, trails, recreation, public pools, zoo operations and an aquarium capital project. It would authorize an additional six-year property tax beginning in 2020 at $0.1832 per $1,000 of assessed valuation with the 2020 levy amount being the base for calculating annual increases in 2021 – 2025 by the King County inflation plus population index or the chapter 84.55 RCW limitation, whichever is greater. Should this proposition be:



Proposition 1 would authorize an additional regular property tax levy to replace an expiring levy and would fund King County’s open space system of parks, natural areas, resource and ecological lands, regional trails, and urban green spaces. Levy proceeds would also be used for the county’s equity and community partnership and grants programs and for operations and capital improvement projects at town, city and park district parks. The levy would further provide funding for environmental education programs at the Woodland Park Zoo; the Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion Project; capital and major maintenance projects at public pools; and habitat restoration, open space acquisition and recreational opportunities, integrated with measures to reduce the risk of flooding.

The levy would have a duration of six years beginning in 2020. The rate in the first year would be limited at just over 18 cents ($0.1832) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of the prior year’s assessed valuation. For a property with an assessed valuation of $500, 000, the maximum rate would be approximately $92 in the first year. The dollar amount of the levy collected in the first year would be the base for computing annual increases for years 2021 – 2025 which would be limited by the greater of: (1) the King County inflation plus population index published by the King County office of economic and financial analysis; or (2) the chapter 84.55 RCW limitation. The levy includes an exemption for qualifying seniors, veterans and others under RCW 84.36.381 and provision for a levy oversight board.

Your vote to renew and replace the County Parks levy will protect thousands of acres of forests and open spaces, invest in parks large and small, improve trails, pools and playfields, and expand recreation and learning for underserved communities. The typical homeowner will pay $2.28/ month over the current levy, with strong public oversight.

For Our Health: Preserving forests and open spaces will help combat climate change, protect air and water quality, and provide places and trails to get outside and enjoy nature, critical in our growing region.

For Our Kids: Funding maintenance and upgrades of playground equipment, sports fields, and public pools will expand opportunities for exercise and recreation. All King County kids deserve fun and safe places to play close to home. 

For Our Communities: Dedicating funds to enhance education and access at the Zoo and expanding the Aquarium reflect our regional commitment to hands-on learning. The levy also provides resources for cities to improve parks and playgrounds in every community. Endorsed by: The Nature Conservancy, Forterra, The Trust for Public Land, WA Trails Association, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Executive Dow Constantine, bi-partisan Council majority. Signers represent youth soccer, affordable housing, and animal conservation organizations.

Submitted by: Kevin Allison, Tony To, Sandy Stelling,

No statement submitted.

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

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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TTY: Relay 711

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