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How King County's property tax could rise in November (if you say OK)

King County voters are likely to vote on a property tax increase this fall to help fund the region's land conservation. If approved by voters, property taxes would increase by about $30 per year for the owner of an $820,000 home.

The proposal just passed through the King County Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, with a unanimous thumbs up. The proposal aims to increase a portion of the county's property tax to pay for the Conservation Futures program that has existed since the 1970s.

The Seattle Times reports that over the years, the program has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including Cougar Mountain, and land near Snoqualmie Falls.

The committee's approval does not mean the tax is official. Rather, it means that the Council is primed to send the decision to voters on the November ballot. That is when the issue will ultimately be decided.

The proposed ordinance states:

"AN ORDINANCE providing for the submission to the qualified electors of King County at the general election to be held in King County on November 8, 2022, of a proposition to restore King County's conservation futures property tax levy authorized under RCW 84.34.230 to a rate of $0.0625 per one thousand dollars of assessed valuation for collection in 2023 and use the dollar amount of the 2023 levy for the purpose of computing limitations for subsequent levies under chapter 84.55 RCW to provide funding for conservation futures as permitted under chapter 84.34 RCW, including, but not limited to, to pay, finance and refinance costs of the acquisition and preservation, of: urban green spaces, natural areas, wildlife and salmon habitat, trails, river corridors, farmlands and forests; and providing for conservation futures advisory committee recommendations."