From the shores of Puget Sound through thriving urban greenspaces, snow-capped mountain peaks, hard-working rural communities and bountiful farms, stunning natural landscapes and ready access to greenspace have made King County a top destination to live, work, and play.
For more than 50 years, Washington’s Conservation Futures program has provided major land conservation funding that has been leveraged by 13 counties to protect more than 100,000 acres of farmlands, forests, natural lands, rivers, trails, and urban green space.
But today, the state funding for this program isn’t keeping up with the need. Due to separate state legislation that limits annual property tax increases to 1 percent, far below the rate of inflation, the Conservation Futures program is only generating about half the revenue it was originally designed and expected to. This leaves rapidly growing counties like King without the tools needed to conserve essential – and rapidly disappearing – greenspace.
Now, King County is asking its residents to protect this program and fix the funding deficit by voting YES on Proposition 1 this fall, to restore Conservation Futures to the original 6.25 cents per $1000 in assessed property value. The levy would cost the average homeowner about an additional $2 a month in property taxes to help permanently protect these vital open spaces.