Veterans and Human Services Levy appears certain to pass
August 16, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8:16 p.m. Aug. 16, 2011
King County voters offered strong support Tuesday for renewing the county Veterans and Human Services Levy until 2017.
The measure, Proposition 1, garnered 66 percent of the vote in the initial round of results King County Elections released just after 8 p.m.
The figure is expected to shift in the coming days as the elections office receives and counts more ballots, but the measure appears certain to pass. The initial tally released Tuesday night encompassed 208,833 ballots.
The levy renewal is projected to generate $100 million through 2017. The funding is split 50-50 among programs for veterans and the neediest residents in King County.
The electorate approved the initial Veterans and Human Services Levy — 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value — to fund programs for veterans and social service efforts in 2005. The existing levy is due to expire Dec. 31.
Proposition 1 matches the existing levy and does not include additional taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $340,000 is expected to pay $17 in 2012 if the levy is renewed.
Organizations operating in Issaquah and the surrounding area, such as Friends of Youth and YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish, receive support from the levy. In addition, nonprofit organizations serving Issaquah-area residents, Child Care Resources, HealthPoint medical and dental clinics, and Hopelink, a regional human services nonprofit organization, also receive levy funds.
YWCA received $395,000 from the levy in recent years for the Passage Point program and another $214,607 in capital funds for the 146-unit YWCA Family Village at Issaquah, a workforce-housing complex in the Issaquah Highlands.
The measure garnered broad support from human services organizations and advocates for veterans. The county Voters’ Guide, in fact, did not include any statements opposing Proposition 1.
“King County voters again demonstrated their support for providing critical services for our veterans and others in need,” County Councilman Bob Ferguson, sponsor of Proposition 1 and the initial levy in 2005, said in a statement. “The Veterans and Human Services Levy is a small investment with a huge impact. It provides essential services that help our veterans and strengthen our families, from employment training and housing to PTSD counseling.”
No Issaquah City Council or school board races appeared on the August ballot. Come November, local voters decide the council race between incumbent Joshua Schaer and challenger TJ Filley, plus the school board showdowns between incumbent Brian Deagle and Patrick Sansing, and incumbent Suzanne Weaver and Brian Neville.
Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election Nov. 8.
Neither did Anne Moore, the school board candidate running to succeed longtime board member Jan Woldseth Colbrese.
The next ballot also includes a handful of statewide initiatives, including a liquor-privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco.