Snohomish discusses parks levy that could raise $750K
SNOHOMISH - The city may soon be asking voters to increase their property taxes with a parks levy, if the City Council approves it.
`The City Council voted 4-3 against a proposed 1 percent property tax increase last month, and property tax opponents suggested staff instead look at creating the levy.
A metropolitan parks district could raise significantly more funds than a 1 percent property tax increase, City Manager Larry Bauman said. Bauman said the metropolitan parks district levy could generate as much as $750,000 per year.
A parks levy would need to be voted on by the public and would act similarly to the transportation benefit district voters approved last year.
The general consensus among the councilmembers who voted against the property tax levy was that taking an increase with no specific reason or public vote would threaten government transparency.
“I think if the voters agree, then it’s a terrific idea,” support services director Danny Weinberg said of the parks levy idea. “It’s a great source of funds to create a rich parks and recreation department in the city.”
Weinberg said city staff and council members would have to have a thorough discussion on the parks district prior to making any more decisions.
“We’re a city in a county, and the county itself has a lot of recreation opportunities,” Weinberg said. “We have to take into consideration that we’re part of a greater setting.”
The transportation benefit district took a great financial burden off the 2013 budget, Bauman said.
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