This November PenMet Parks residents will vote on a renewal of the District’s park and recreation levy. This renews the same expiring levy from 2017.
Proposition 1: Renewing the Parks and Recreation Levy for Six Years
This levy would restore the rate from $.58 to $.75 per $1,000 of assessed value and maintain annual increases of up to 6% (but never to exceed $.75) for six more years. The 2023 levy renewal is the same levy residents approved in 2017 that is expiring this year.
The Levy Funds Additional Parks and Services That our Community Needs, 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, and youth.
- Creating new recreation opportunities and access throughout the District.
Levy funds make up over 80% of PenMet Parks’ annual budget and are required to continue providing clean, safe, well-maintained parks and high-quality community programs.
Levy Funds Would:
Provide More Access to Parks, Trails, and Shoreline
Through surveys and forums, our community identified the need for trails, forests, water access, and amenities like playgrounds, picnic shelters, courts, and fields. Levy funds would support:
- Preserving our community’s forests and open spaces and create more hiking, walking, and biking trails at places like McCormick Forest.
- Improving waterfront properties that PenMet Parks already owns like Wollochet Estuary Park and the Cedrona Bay boat launch to provide more public access to shoreline and water-based recreation.
- Providing more amenities like playgrounds, courts, and fields at parks to support the District’s recreation needs.
Provide More Programs for All Ages and Abilities
Citizens have requested more programs for seniors, adults, youth, and vulnerable populations. Levy funds would allow PenMet Parks to 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.
Enjoying watercolor art class at Arletta Schoolhouse.
Create New Recreation Opportunities Throughout the District
Levy funds would allow PenMet Parks to improve undeveloped or underdeveloped parks like Peninsula Gardens, Maplewood, and the Cedrona Bay boat launch to create new recreation opportunities for our community. Improvements will provide more equitable access to parks in underserved parts of the District like Artondale, the north region of the District from Purdy to Colvos Passage, and parts of Fox Island.
See our District map.
Adequately Fund a Maturing Park District
Like all metropolitan park districts, levy funds make up the majority of PenMet Parks’ annual budget. Operations, maintenance, programs, and capital projects are highly dependent upon revenue generated by the property tax levy.
Levy funds would allow PenMet Parks to continue to provide clean and well-maintained parks that are safe and secure, free community events, and hundreds of high-quality programs for all ages and abilities like senior programs, youth camps and sports, free movies and concerts in the park, and the annual Scarecrow Festival.
As a maturing park district, PenMet Parks requires sufficient funding to develop and maintain parks and properties. PenMet Parks’ spending lags behind similar-sized agencies.
Responsible Fiscal Management
PenMet Parks is accountable to its citizens for its use of public dollars. Responsible fiscal policies and wise spending allowed PenMet Parks to use 2017 levy dollars to advance the goals identified by residents while operating within a limited budgetary framework.
View PenMet Parks’ annual budget.
- Under the state constitution, there is a 1% “lid” on annual increases of the levy amount. Special levies can be approved by a vote of the people to “lift” this lid to ensure that funding levels can keep pace with rising costs and community growth.
- When property values increase, the levy rate does not increase at the same pace. This is due to the fact that when the annual limit factor is applied it causes the levy rate to drift downward from the $.75 rate approved in 2017. As a result, the current levy rate for PenMet Parks is $.58 per $1,000 in assessed value, which is insufficient to sustain the current level of service provided by the District.
- If approved, the levy could generate an estimated $17.7 million in funding over six years. All levy funds approved by District residents stay within the District.
- Levy funds comprise more than 80% of the District’s annual operating budget.
- If renewed, the levy would make up about 87% of general fund revenue starting in 2024 and generate a 24% increase in the general fund.
- If the levy is not renewed, the levy rate could decline to $.54 by 2029.
Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs).
See how PenMet Parks spent levy funds.
View PenMet Parks’ annual budget.
Attend a levy informational session.
Download our levy information flyer.
Peninsula Metropolitan Park District Hosts Levy Renewal Informational Events — September 8, 2023
Check back for open house events and other community forums when they are scheduled.