Vote yes to protect park district’s budget

October 13, 2011

By Contributed

When it comes to Si View Metropolitan Park District’s two ballot measures — propositions No. 1 and No. 2 — there is only one choice: Yes.

These measures will keep the district’s doors open without raising the amount it collects in taxes. Without them, Si View will lose more than half of its operating budget.

The parks district is being threatened by Washington’s archaic property tax system that unfairly punishes the newest taxing districts by giving them the least political clout.

The total of all property levies not collected by the state are limited to $5.90 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The decline in property values has pushed property levies in many areas up against that $5.90 cap. Washington’s tax system does not spread the burden among all public districts providing nonessential services. Instead, it uses a seven-tier system. Whichever entity is last bears the full burden.

That will happen next year to the Si View Metropolitan Park District. In 2011, Si View collected 53 cents per $1,000. Based on current projections for next year, it could only collect 9 cents per $1,000.

That will leave it with about $190,000 rather than the roughly $1.18 million it collected this year. The district also earns about $800,000 from user fees.

Propositions No. 1 and No. 2 protect Si View’s funding.

Proposition No. 1 protects 25 cents of the district’s levy, meaning the combined property levy would exceed $5.90.

Proposition No. 2 asks voters to approve a maintenance-and-operations levy for 21 cents per $1,000.

Even with both, the district will still collect slightly less money next year than it did this year.

But without them, it will not be able to provide its 300 programs, which serve about 110,000 people a year.

Ask yourself: How much good does the Si View Metropolitan Park District do for the community?

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Comments

3 Responses to “Vote yes to protect park district’s budget”

  1. David Nye on October 15th, 2011 10:47 am

    Can Si View Parks Manage Budgets?

    Here we go again. Has everyone forgotten about the multiple tax increases and 2 bond measures we have voted for since Si View Parks District was formed? It was just two months ago when the Parks District informed the voters they were putting Proposition 1 on the ballot to protect the existing revenue currently in place. We were told this measure would not increase our taxes. I get this, and am in favor of supporting this measure. What has me concerned is proposition 2 – another tax increase for the hard working families in North Bend. And we are told this is needed for operations and maintenance, and to help keep the 300 programs in place. What exactly are these 300 programs? And where did the money go from the bond measure that was passed a year ago for more capital improvements?

    Our family regularly uses Si View and its programs. We pay a fee for every program we sign up for and are happy to do it. Why not just raise the fees for these programs, instead of hitting all us tax payers for programs we don’t use?

    When revenue is down, you cut spending! A simple rule of economics our state and federal politicians continue to ignore. I’d like to see the Parks District start managing their budgets, like the rest of us do.

  2. Travis Stombaugh on October 22nd, 2011 10:54 pm

    Hello Mr. Nye,

    I’d like to offer a few quick comments addressing some of your concerns above, but also to let you know that I’m always available for comment or questions. Just stop by the District office or give me a call and I would explain these in depth.
    -Si View MPD has only gone out for 1 Capital Bond. The money from this bond has been and will be used for capital improvements on a 73 year old facility. By law the money can not be used for operations and maintenance.
    -In regards to multiple tax increases, the District has more then doubled the people served over the last three years through earned revenue (program revenue) not tax increases.
    -Prop 2 is not a tax increase. When combined with Prop 1 you would not be paying more in taxes to Si View MPD in 2012 then you are in 2011. We can only protect a portion of our current levy authority, Prop 2 simply makes us whole and does not increase the total property taxes paid to Si View MPD.
    Again I can always be reached at the District office and I’d be happy to supply you with a list of the 300 programs or go over our budget or these propositions in detail with you.

    -Travis Stombaugh

  3. Jan Bonner on October 23rd, 2011 9:42 pm

    I must agree with Mr. Nye. I am new to the Snoqualmie area. My wife and I left California, after 60 years; because well meaning politicians and activists have spent the state into bankruptcy. It is time to pay as you go. The majority of boards, commissions, etc., need to pack it in and get a job. We all love the parks, but we should only pay for what we use and not another cent more. NO MORE TAXES!

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