August 9, 2011
Vote yes — again — for Proposition 1
Feeling charitable to those who have no job, are living on the streets or need parenting education? King County has made it easy to help, but first you need to get out your ballot and agree to continue Proposition 1, the veterans-and-human-services levy. The owner of a $400,000 home will be donating $20 per year, via their property taxes, if the ballot measure passes.
The levy was first approved in 2005. To the County Council’s credit, voters are asked only to approve the same amount, at 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, although the case could certainly have been made for more, knowing that the need is greater than ever.
Much of the levy money is used for housing projects to help provide affordable or low-income housing. The YWCA Family Village apartments that just opened in Issaquah Highlands is one local beneficiary, providing housing for teachers, firefighters, seniors and others whose income is below average.
Half of the levy is intended to help veterans and their families as they return from active duty. That won’t change in the next six years if the levy is renewed. What better way to show a little patriotism and thanks to our veterans for serving our country?
The other half of the $100 million that is expected to be collected through 2017 supports nonprofit agencies that are finding it harder to raise the funds to continue their work, whether it be low-cost dental and medical services, child care or mental health counseling.
The veterans-and-human-services levy is about taking care of each other. It may come in the form of a property tax, but it is one that voters approve, not just another government handout. Local government, including King County, has often directed part of its tax revenue to human service agencies, but the decline in sales taxes have decreased the availability of discretionary funds.
It’s up to each of us to do our part. This is one easy way to help those in need. Vote yes, and tell your friends to vote yes.