Evan Smith: More on the King County Veteran’s and Human Services Levy

Monday, July 4, 2011

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

Here is more voters-pamphlet material on the King County Veteran’s and Human Services Levy that will appear on the August 16 primary-election ballot in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and the rest of the County.

The material comes in three parts.

First, the explanatory statement that will appear in the voters’ pamphlet that will arrive in late July.

Second, the statement in favor of the levy; County Councilman Bob Ferguson, who represents Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and the rest of the 1st County Council District, helped write the official statement for the levy. No person or group came forth to submit a statement against the levy.

Third, the official ballot title, which I originally posted June 24.

Here they are:

King County Local Voters' Pamphlet
August 16, 2011 Primary And Special Election

          If approved by voters, Proposition 1 would authorize King County to levy an additional regular property tax at the rate of five cents ($0.05) or less per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of assessed valuation on all taxable property within King County to fund regional health and human services for veterans and military personnel, their families, and other needy residents. The levy would be authorized for a six-year period with collection beginning in 2012 and would replace a levy expiring this year that voters approved in 2005. In years two through six of the levy, annual increases would be authorized up to the greater of 1% or the percentage increase in the consumer price index, up to a maximum of 3%.
          Services specific to the needs of veterans and military personnel and their families funded by the levy would include treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, specialized employment assistance, and services that increase self-sufficiency. Services that would also be available to other residents in need would include mental health counseling, substance abuse prevention and treatment, employment assistance, housing assistance, homelessness prevention, and services that reduce involvement in the criminal justice system and reduce emergency medical costs. Levy proceeds would also be used to fund capital facilities for these services. Half of the levy proceeds would fund services for veterans and military personnel and their families. The other half would fund services for a wide range of citizens in need.
          If Proposition 1 passes, a citizen oversight board created in 2005 would continue to review the expenditure of levy proceeds and make policy recommendations to the King County executive and the King County council on levy expenditures.

Statement For
The Veterans and Human Services Levy, approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2005, has improved the lives of over 82,000 veterans, their families, and others across King County.

This is a RENEWAL of an existing levy, not a new tax or increase. Despite tremendous needs of veterans returning from service, the non-partisan citizen oversight boards recommended providing services efficiently and with accountability, holding the line on taxes. The average homeowner would invest only $17 annually.

Voting YES to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy supports these essential services:
  • Employment training
  • Veterans treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Housing with support services
  • Behavioral health services
  • Services for new mothers and infants

          The levy is supported by all nine members of the non-partisan King County Council, Executive Constantine, veterans, human service providers, housing and public health advocates, and leaders throughout King County.
          Vote YES to RENEW the Veterans and Human Services Levy-a small investment, with a huge impact for our veterans, our neighbors, and our communities. 
          Supported by: YWCA, Plymouth Housing, HealthPoint Senior Services, Valley Cities Counseling & Consultation, Catholic Community Services, Hopelink, Kent Youth and Family Services.
Statement submitted by: Bob Ferguson, Doug Hoople and Sue Sherbrooke 
•  http://www.vetsandhumanservices.org/

Statement Against
No statement submitted

          Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction.
          No persons came forward to serve on the committee to write a statement in opposition.
          If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Ballot Title 
Simple majority (RCW 84.55.010)
Proposition No. 1
Veterans and Human Services Levy
          The King County council has passed Ordinance No. 17072 concerning funding for regional veterans, health, and human services. This proposition would replace an expiring levy and fund capital facilities and services that reduce medical costs, homelessness, and criminal justice system involvement with half of proceeds supporting veterans and their families.

          It would authorize King County to levy an additional property tax of 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2012 and authorize annual increases by the percentage increase in the consumer price index or 1%, whichever is greater, with a maximum increase of 3%, for the five succeeding years.

Should this proposition be:


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