Seattle mayor wants new tax district for parks

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

Seattle mayor wants new tax district for parks
SEATTLE —

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is pushing a plan he said would permanently ensure proper funding for the parks.

Murray is asking the city council to allow taxpayers to vote on if they want a new special tax district formed to fund the parks. 

The tax district would have the authority to charge property owners $0.42 for every thousand dollars of home value.  For example, a $400,000 house would be taxed 168 dollars.

That plan would raise about $54 million in new parks taxes each year. The tax district could charge up to $0.75 in the future and would be monitored by an appointed citizen group according to Murray.

The 2014 parks budget is $135 million, with an additional $37 million unspent from 2013.  Murray’s plan would ensure funding levels for the park stay about the same despite any new income from a tax district.

The mayor said he believes people would pass the tax if it got through the council. KIRO 7 spoke with people in parks Thursday who both supported and were against the idea of a tax district.