Local Election

Election 2016: Bellingham approves property tax for parks, trails

What is unofficially being called Cordata Community Park is one of the properties acquired by the city of Bellingham that will be developed into a park if voters approve Greenways IV.
What is unofficially being called Cordata Community Park is one of the properties acquired by the city of Bellingham that will be developed into a park if voters approve Greenways IV. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

The city’s greenway tax has passed with nearly 69 percent approval on Tuesday, according to early results.

It marks the fourth time Bellingham voters have agreed to tax themselves to pay for parks, trails and other green spaces for people and wildlife.

Called Greenways IV, it will raise $32 million over seven years.

The measure passed with 68.9 percent voting yes, and 31 percent voting no on Tuesday. That’s with 29,334 votes counted so far.

It needed a simple majority of yes votes to pass.

The levy will bring in $4.5 million in its first year.

Property owners will pay up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The owner of a $300,000 Bellingham house will pay up to $150 annually for Greenways IV.

For the first time, more money will go to developing land than buying it.

Money will be distributed in the following ways:

▪ 42 percent for park development, trail building and restoration.

▪ 33 percent to buy land for parks, trails and connections between the two.

▪ 25 percent for maintenance and operations for Greenways and other city-owned park land.

A Greenways levy has gone before Bellingham voters since 1990 – passing in 1990, 1997 and again in 2006.

The current version, Greenways III, ends in December.

Election results will be certified Nov. 29.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

  Comments