On November 7, 2000 — vote NO — Proposition 1,
Seattle’s $198,200,000 Park levy.
This park levy’s “wish list” is too long and too expensive. Ordinance
120024 concedes that “ … the current general fund ….
does not provide sufficient resources to implement all of the recommendations called for in the plans… .” Nevertheless, Seattle’s
elected officials are determined to implement this bloated “second-
to-none” park levy - regardless of cost - taxing property owners
$25 million a year for eight years in addition to the Park
Department’s fixed $55.5 million annual budget. That’s a total of
$644 million for parks over the next eight years.
This pervasive ploy of submitting levies and bond measures
to the electorate has served our elected officials exceedingly well.
Their argument, which implies voters are taxing only themselves,
is misleading. In reality, all of Seattle’s property owners will be
subject to the additional taxation on the “Yes” votes of as few as
one-third of Seattle’s registered voters. Only voting NO can
stop this ploy.
Proposition 1 also helps expose another self-serving bureaucratic
scheme. “Voter approved” levies and bond measures which
fund major projects, essentially relieve Seattle’s officials of their
responsibility for resulting property tax increases. Consequently,
they hold themselves blameless for any rental increases “passed-on”
to homes, apartments, retail and commercial properties.
It cannot be repeated often enough: Only Seattle’s property
owners will bear the entire public cost of Proposition 1. It is
an unfair and unjustified tax.
Seattle Proposition 1 — Vote NO
Many critical elements could have been financed with councilmanic
bonds, which are intended for unforeseen critical needs.
More importantly they don’t require voter approval to be used.
Unfortunately, the City’s $650 million “credit card” was “maxed-out”
by our elected officials on their own “pet” projects. There was
very little left on the “card” for any part of this complex park levy.
A current City “pet” project is the $226 million City Hall and
Civic Center complex, funded by these same councilmanic bonds.
Seattle’s elected officials have obviously concluded “pet” projects
come first when deciding their funding priorities.
The only vote Proposition 1 deserves is — NO.
The City’s philosophy for initiating projects is fatally flawed.
In this case, if this “park” is funded by this levy for only eight years,
how will programs produced by it be sustained afterward?
Another levy in 2008? Forever more?