King County Council places veterans levy on August ballot

May 2, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 p.m. May 2, 2011

King County Council members called for voters decide the future of a county veterans-and-human-services levy in the August primary election.

The electorate approved the initial levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts — on the 2005 ballot, and the measure is up for renewal.

Councilman Bob Ferguson sponsored both the original legislation in 2005 and the current proposal.

“The issue now goes to the voters in August to decide if they want to continue investing in our veterans and human services,” he said Monday after the council agreed in a unanimous decision to put the measure on the ballot.

The proposal matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The ballot measure specifies for levy growth to be tied to inflation.

“This is the reauthorization of an existing levy, which has served thousands of people and veterans throughout King County over the last six years,” Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn, a cosponsor of the legislation, said in a statement. “It is now up to the people of King County whether this program is to continue.”

Like the existing levy, the renewal legislation proposes allocating half of the money for veterans programs and the other half for general human services programs. The existing levy expires Dec. 31.

“The council conducted a thorough process to assess the effectiveness of the existing levy, and the vote was unanimous to send this renewal proposal to the ballot,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, vice chairwoman of the council Budget and Fiscal Management Committee and the Issaquah representative, said in a statement. “I appreciate the work of staff and the volunteers who serve on the two citizens levy oversight committees in evaluating this proposal, as well as the testimony from members of the public.”

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