Vote yes to protect park district’s budget
October 13, 2011
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?