[Edited September 7, 3:07 p.m.]
At its August 9 regular monthly meeting, the board of directors of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association voted unanimously to endorse and support passage of the renewed Maintenance and Operations Levy to assure continued funding of the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District.
Park and recreation districts do not have permanent levies, as do most tax districts in Washington. Rather, they must seek voter approval for a new maintenance and operations property tax levy every six years. Since 2012, our Point Roberts Park and Recreation District has operated on a levy of up to 8.4 cents per $1,000 property valuation, or about $50,000.
Keeping with longstanding tradition, the district has not sought funding for any staff support, other than the secretary/bookkeeper, who only works a couple of days per month. All of the day-to-day management and support has been provided by volunteer park commissioners.
The proposed levy for the next six years, 2018-2023, would allow the district to hire a part-time manager to assist the commissioners. It would also fund various deferred, essential maintenance projects, in particular, septic and seismic upgrades at the community center and improvements at Baker Field, as well as expansion of direct recreational program support by the district.
Point Roberts Taxpayers Association president Mark Robbins said, “To be sure, the proposed levy represents a big increase percentagewise, from about 8.4 cents to 21.5 cents per $1,000 valuation. But the absolute amounts are really pretty small. On an average home valued at $200,000, the annual tax bite will be about $43. Just think about how valuable and central the community center is to the life of the community. It absolutely needs to be maintained and even upgraded. Otherwise, there will be no Seniors Lunch program, no Library, no meeting space, etc.”
On behalf of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association, Robbins urged voters to turn out for the November 7 election, since passage of the levy will require the affirmative vote of 60 percent and a minimum voter turnout of 40 percent of those who voted at the last general election, which was a presidential election with relatively high turnout.