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Vashon-Maury Island Park and Recreation District

Proposition No. 1
Park District Levy Renewal for 2020 through 2023

Shall the Vashon Park District be authorized to impose a regular property tax levy of not more than $0.52 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in each of 4 consecutive years beginning in 2020, to pay operation and maintenance costs associated with the District’s facilities, as provided in Resolution No. 19-01?

Yes

No


Passage of Proposition 1 would authorize the Vashon-Maury Island Park and Recreation District (Vashon Park District) to levy annually for four years excess property taxes to pay costs for operation and maintenance associated with the District's facilities. This levy will replace the District's expiring levy. 

The proposed four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy would authorize the collection of levy amounts estimated to be $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed value in each of the years between 2020 and 2023. The tax rate of approximately $0.52 per $1,000 of assessed value projected for the first year of collection in 2020 would equate to $52.00 per year (or $4.33 per month) for a $100,000 home. 

Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements. For more information, call the King County Department of Assessments at 206-296-7300.
 

Vashon Park District has worked hard over the years to get on solid financial footing. VES field is completed with new lights. We have a year round pool enjoyed by youth and seniors. The days of living on borrowed money are over.

Now is the time to move forward and complete the maintenance that has been deferred. This levy money will be approximately a 34% increase, about $450,000 more collected. Over the next four years, this will allow us to tackle essential infrastructure projects and needed maintenance: to Agren and BARC fields, Lisabeula and Agren parking lots, major work on Belle Baldwin house, Inspiration Point wall, various projects at Point Robinson, install restrooms at all our parks, and work on invasive species remediation. 

Our numerous parks are used by 1,000s of youth and even more adults. Our parks allow us to get outside, enjoy nature and keep fit. Our youth have many opportunities to participate in sports. What is lacking are programs for our seniors. The Park District is hoping that this levy money will change that.

The Park District’s only money comes from this levy. With your support, we can continue to build a great park district for all.
 

The Park District is asking for too large a levy. By voting “No”, you are advising the commissioners to return with a more reasonable request.

Since the Board has determined no additional funds will needed to increase the current reserve, those funds now are available for other needs, including deferred maintenance. It should be noted, that in 2018 and 2019 levy receipts were at the highest level in Park District history. In fact, they are $250,000/year higher than the average levy receipts collected during the four years when the District was spending $1.5 million of levy receipts on VES. 

While inflation has outpaced increased levy receipts by less than 3% during the past four years, the commissioners are requesting a 38% increase in property taxes. This demonstrates they have learned nothing from the fiscally irresponsible spending of the recent past.

The Park District must learn to operate with a reasonable budget. There is no need to overtax the island so all the deferred maintenance and wish-list projects can happen immediately. Nobody on the island, especially those islanders on fixed incomes, will receive a 38% increase in income next year, and neither should the Park District. Vote “No” on Proposition 1
 

Property taxes will not increase by 38%, only the park district portion of our property taxes is being increased. The 11 cents rate increase allows the District to complete its deferred maintenance projects over the next four years, while maintaining auditor-recommended adequate reserves. This is solid stewardship which will save us money. Updating and protecting our Park facilities while creating more programming is the responsible thing to do and will benefit islanders of all ages. 

Hilary Emmer, Karl Stetson, David Hattery, hilonvashon@yahoo.com

The levy is not the only source of money.  Grants and private funds provided the vast majority of the funds for the VES lights, BARC dish and pool dome. This funding model should continue.

The District already had the money for new recreational programs for seniors, but it chose to ignore the islanders’ top priority from its 2016 survey and spent the money for lower priority items. 

Scott Harvey, sdharvey50@comcast.net

60% yes vote and either (1) a minimum of 1,829 yes votes or (2) a minimum turnout of 3,048 voters (RCW 36.69.145)

Elaine Ott-Rocheford, Executive Director, 206-463-9602, eott@vashonparks.org

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