King County voters will consider in August raising property taxes to fund county and city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo. The existing parks levies expire at the end of the year.
The Metropolitan King County Council voted Monday to send voters a six-year property tax levy lid lift of 18.77 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – about $56 per year for the owner of a home valued at $300,000. If approved, the proceeds from the levy would go toward funding the maintenance and operation of King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 26,000 acres of open space. Levy funds would also be used to expand the regional trails system, connecting South King County to the system. Some of the money would support local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo.
Two council members, Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn, voted against the levy. Lambert said that, while she supports parks, she worries the amount of the levy will preclude smaller taxing districts, like fire and water districts, from raising their property taxes. The state limits the amount property taxes can be raised.
The 26,000-acre King County Parks system includes Marymoor Park, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center and the Sammamish River Trail.