Levies for Seattle libraries, King County Parks passing in early results

Aug 6, 2019, 8:17 PM | Updated: 8:35 pm

King County parks levy...

(MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

A pair of potentially controversial measures were approved by voters Tuesday, related to funding for Seattle’s public libraries, and King County’s parks.

Approval of Seattle Proposition 1 was ahead Tuesday night with 73 percent approval. The proposition is a $219 million library levy sent to the ballot by Seattle City Council in April. It replaces an expiring $123 million levy that lapses at the end of 2019. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans back in March to use $8 million of the new levy to eliminate Seattle Public Library fines for late items.

The levy also funds renovations and maintenance, and invests in library collections and technology services, among other needs.

City Council voted in April to tack on an additional $5.8 million, covering a measure to keep 26 library branches open for an extra hour between Monday and Thursday, developing a Community Resource Specialist program for connecting homeless library patrons with resources, and an expansion of the popular “Play and Learn” program.

“By renewing our shared investments in The Seattle Public Library, we can lift up the places where communities come together, open up doors to learning, and make Seattle a more equitable place to live,” Mayor Durkan said in a March news release.

The money will be collected through a seven-year, $213 million property-tax levy. It will cost a median value homeowner approximately $7 per month, according to the mayor’s office, $1.58 per month more than the current levy.

Good news for King County parks

Initial ballot results also indicated that King County Proposition 1 will be approved by voters, passing with 67 percent approval. The levy will provide roughly 80 percent of funding for parks across King County, as well as trails, public pools, zoo operations, and more.

It OKs an added six-year property tax starting in 2020 of approximately 18 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

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