Levy Renewal FAQs

Q: If the levy is approved by voters, what is PenMet’s plan for using the additional revenue for the next six years?

A: There are two parts to this answer:

  1. First, the additional revenue – estimated at $17.7 million over the next six years – is needed to sustain parks and recreation programs at the current service levels, and to provide more access to parks and programs throughout the District.
  2. The second part of this answer is that these priorities were established by the community. Through open forums and surveys, the community has identified need for more amenities and programming, especially:
    • Access to trails, forests, saltwater shoreline and park amenities like fields, courts, and playgrounds.
    • Programs for all ages and abilities, like free community events and programs for seniors, adults, youth sports and camps, and programs for vulnerable populations.
    • Creating new recreation opportunities and access throughout the District.

Q: If the District’s levy is approved in November, the levy rate would increase from $.58 per $1,000 of assessed value to $.75. How is this not a new tax and burden on tax payers?

A: The District is asking residents to renew the levy approved by voters in 2004 and again in 2017 to fund the majority of its annual operating budget. This is simply a renewal of our levy that makes up over 80% of the funding for the district.

Q: If voters in 2017 approved a levy rate of $.75 per $1,000 of assessed value, how is it that the levy rate eroded over the last six years?

A: This is tied to the increase in the aggregate value of property in the District since 2017 and state constitutional limits on annual levy increases. Under state law, there is a 1% “lid” on annual increases of the levy amount. When property values increase, the levy rate does not grow at the same pace because the annual limit factor – the lid – is applied and causes the levy rate to drift downward.

Rosedale Park at sunset.

Q:  What is the threshold for the levy to pass in November and what kind of fiscal impact would the District face if the levy renewal fails?

A: The levy would pass if a simple majority or residents vote in favor of the levy renewal. Should the measure fail to generate enough support, the District’s annual levy limit would be capped at 1% under state law.

If the levy is not renewed, it is projected that the levy rate would erode further and would generate 28% less revenue than the 2017 rate approved by voters and the annual operating budget would stay relatively flat from year to year.

Along with rising operating costs, it would mean the District would not be able to sustain parks and basic services at its current levels nor keep with growth and community demand for more parks and programming that has been identified in open forums and  surveys.  Capital investments to maintain our community’s physical assets would stall, resulting in a larger backlog of deferred maintenance in the future.

See how our community prioritizes parks and recreation services.

Q. What if PenMet Parks does not need all the levy funds?

A. Over the next six years, these levy funds are critical to fulfill the needs identified by the community, including access to trails, forests, saltwater shoreline and park amenities, programs for all, and new recreation opportunities. It allows PenMet Parks to:

  • Continue to provide clean and well-maintained parks that are safe and secure.
  • Offer more high-quality programs for all ages and abilities, including free community events, senior programs, adult sports, youth camps and classes, teen programs, programs for people with special needs, and more.
  • Improve undeveloped or underdeveloped parks like Peninsula Gardens, Maplewood, and the Cedrona Bay boat launch to create new recreation opportunities for our community.

Q: Am I eligible for a senior tax exemption?

To apply for a property tax exemption for senior citizens in Pierce County, you need to:

  • Be at least 60 years old on December 31 of the year you apply.
  • Not exceed an annual income of $52,741.
  • Complete the application form and submit it along with the supporting documents, such as proof of income and age to the county assessor. 

Learn More

See how PenMet Parks spent levy funds.

Read our Parks and Recreation Levy Renewal page.

View PenMet Parks’ annual budget.

See how our community prioritizes parks and recreational needs.

Attend a levy informational session.

Download our levy information flyer.

Latest News

Peninsula Metropolitan Park District Hosts Levy Renewal Informational Events — September 8, 2023

Peninsula Metropolitan Park District Board of Commissioners Pass Resolution for Levy Renewal — July 19, 2023

Check back for open house events and other community forums when they are scheduled.