NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 4th, 2022

King County conservation futures levy is receiving solid support, NPI poll finds

King Coun­ty vot­ers are say­ing yes to a pro­pos­al to increase the region’s invest­ment in pub­lic lands and green spaces, sug­gest­ing a good out­come for King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1 this month, NPI’s lat­est poll has found.

In the aggre­gate, 57% of vot­ers sur­veyed this week for NPI by Change Research said they had vot­ed for King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1 or would be doing so, while 27% said they had vot­ed no or would be doing so. 9% did not recall how they had vot­ed, 7% were not sure, and 0% said they did not vote on the measure.

King County Conservation Future Levy poll finding visualization

Visu­al­iza­tion of NPI’s Octo­ber-Novem­ber 2022 poll find­ing on King Coun­ty Char­ter Amend­ment 1, con­cern­ing conservation

More than six in ten of those who had already cast bal­lots report­ed hav­ing backed the propo­si­tion, with few­er than a quar­ter opposed. Among vot­ers who have not yet vot­ed, the mea­sure has less sup­port: 49% indi­cat­ed they’ll be vot­ing yes and 33% indi­cat­ed they’ll be vot­ing no. 18% said they were not sure.

King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1 was placed on the bal­lot by the King Coun­ty Coun­cil sev­er­al months ago at the request of King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Constantine.

The Yes cam­paign explains:

Exec­u­tive Con­stan­tine launched the Land Con­ser­va­tion Ini­tia­tive in 2016, con­ven­ing a region­al part­ner­ship of com­mu­ni­ties, cities, farm­ers, busi­ness­es, and envi­ron­men­tal lead­ers to pro­tect 65,000 acres of the high­est con­ser­va­tion-val­ue open space.

The ini­tia­tive is off to a strong start, but with­out ade­quate fund­ing now, King Coun­ty and part­ners will miss the best oppor­tu­ni­ties to pro­tect open spaces. A Yes on King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1 [vote] restores the local Con­ser­va­tion Futures Pro­gram to its orig­i­nal rate – less than $2 more per month for the aver­age homeowner.

A large num­ber of envi­ron­men­tal and con­ser­va­tion orga­ni­za­tions are cham­pi­oning the levy’s pas­sage, along with REI and the King Coun­ty Democ­rats. Both The Stranger and The Seat­tle Times have sup­port­ed a yes vote.

Oppo­si­tion has been mut­ed. Michael Fisette and Chuck Best sup­plied a “stop the land grab” con state­ment for the voter’s pam­phlet, bizarrely argu­ing in one pas­sage: “If every­body owns the prop­er­ty, then no one per­son is incen­tivized to main­tain it, increas­ing the like­li­hood of fire, pol­lu­tion, and squatting.”

(That’s a non­sen­si­cal argu­ment: when prop­er­ty is in pri­vate hands, there are usu­al­ly few­er peo­ple with the author­i­ty to man­age and main­tain it.)

“Oppo­nents mis­state facts: King Coun­ty owns just over 3% of lands,” the Yes cam­paign said in response. “Fed­er­al­ly-owned Cas­cade forests are inac­ces­si­ble to many. Tax­es are deter­mined by home val­u­a­tion — not pub­lic land ownership.”

For­mer Inte­ri­or Sec­re­tary Sal­ly Jew­ell joined De’Sean Quinn and Dow Con­stan­tine in sign­ing the voter’s pam­phlet state­ment sup­port­ing the measure.

The Democ­rats on the King Coun­ty Coun­cil all sup­port the levy. Repub­li­cans Pete von Reich­bauer and Rea­gan Dunn are not list­ed as sup­port­ers of the measure.

King Coun­ty vot­ers clear­ly agree that the Land Con­ser­va­tion Ini­tia­tive is worth fund­ing, even though they are asked on almost an annu­al basis to approve levies for oth­er wor­thy caus­es, such as Medic One or Best Start for Kids.

Here’s the ques­tions we asked and the answers we received:

Already voted 

QUESTION: This year, King Coun­ty vot­ers are con­sid­er­ing King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1, a con­ser­va­tion levy. The bal­lot title is as fol­lows: The King Coun­ty Coun­cil passed Ordi­nance 19458 con­cern­ing fund­ing to pro­tect open space lands in King Coun­ty. This propo­si­tion would pro­vide fund­ing to pay, finance, or refi­nance acqui­si­tion and preser­va­tion of: urban green spaces, nat­ur­al areas, wildlife and salmon habi­tat, trails, riv­er cor­ri­dors, farm­lands and forests. It would autho­rize restora­tion of the county’s RCW 84.34.230 con­ser­va­tion futures prop­er­ty tax levy to a rate of $0.0625 per $1,000 of assessed val­u­a­tion for col­lec­tion in 2023 and use the dol­lar amount of the 2023 levy for the pur­pose of com­put­ing sub­se­quent levy lim­i­ta­tions under chap­ter 84.55 RCW. 

How did you vote on this proposition?

Respon­dents who told us that they had already vot­ed were shown this question. 

  • Yes: 62%
  • No: 23%
  • Did not vote on this: 0%
  • Don’t recall: 15%

Haven’t yet voted

QUESTION: This year, King Coun­ty vot­ers are con­sid­er­ing King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1, a con­ser­va­tion levy. The bal­lot title is as fol­lows: The King Coun­ty Coun­cil passed Ordi­nance 19458 con­cern­ing fund­ing to pro­tect open space lands in King Coun­ty. This propo­si­tion would pro­vide fund­ing to pay, finance, or refi­nance acqui­si­tion and preser­va­tion of: urban green spaces, nat­ur­al areas, wildlife and salmon habi­tat, trails, riv­er cor­ri­dors, farm­lands and forests. It would autho­rize restora­tion of the county’s RCW 84.34.230 con­ser­va­tion futures prop­er­ty tax levy to a rate of $0.0625 per $1,000 of assessed val­u­a­tion for col­lec­tion in 2023 and use the dol­lar amount of the 2023 levy for the pur­pose of com­put­ing sub­se­quent levy lim­i­ta­tions under chap­ter 84.55 RCW.

How are you vot­ing on this proposition?

Respon­dents who told us that they had not yet vot­ed were shown this question.

  • Yes: 49%
    • Def­i­nite­ly yes: 28%
    • Prob­a­bly yes: 21%
  • No: 33%
    • Prob­a­bly no: 11%
    • Def­i­nite­ly no: 22%
  • Not sure: 18%

Aggregate responses

COMBINED ANSWERS (AGGREGATE), BOTH QUESTIONS:

  • Yes: 57%
  • No: 27%
  • Did not vote on this: 0%
  • Don’t recall: 9%
  • Not sure: 7%

Our sur­vey of 740 like­ly 2022 King Coun­ty gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers was in the field from Fri­day, Octo­ber 28th until today, Thurs­day, Novem­ber 3rd.

The poll was con­duct­ed entire­ly online for the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute by Change Research and has a mod­eled mar­gin of error of 4.0%.

Fol­low this link if you’re inter­est­ed in a detailed primer on the survey’s method­ol­o­gy along with infor­ma­tion about who took the poll.

If you’d like more infor­ma­tion about King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion 1, the Yes cam­paign’s web­site is a great resource. You can see all of the endorse­ments and check out the news cov­er­age. If you’d like to read the text of the amend­ment and the com­plete voter’s pam­phlet state­ments, King Coun­ty Elec­tions has a page with all of that infor­ma­tion help­ful­ly com­piled in one place. Hap­py voting!

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