By 53-47%, Seattle voters approve Proposition 1 to create new Park District

SEATTLE -- Seattle voters gave their approval to Proposition 1, which will raise property taxes to create a new Park District, election results showed Thursday.

King County Elections said the results released at 5:30 p.m. Thursday included "nearly all ballots that had arrived on time with valid signatures." Only those ballots with signature challenges would be dealt with before the election results are certified on Aug. 19.

With 134,639 ballots counted at 5:30 p.m. Thursday,  70,355 voters approved Proposition 1 to 61,978 against -- or 53-47%.

The Seattle City Council, which would serve as the Park District board, has said it would set the property-tax rate at 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $149 annually for the owner of a $450,000 home.

That will bring in about  $48 million a year for the city's parks.

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When Murray proposed this measure, he said Proposition 1 would eliminate the need to go before voters every six to eight years with an open space levy.

But that`s generating opposition from those who like the accountability the current approach provides.

"Right now what you`re seeing, and it shocks me, is that our City Council and mayor wants to remove one of our rights to a vote, wants to take it away and thinks that an advisory committee is going to be the replacement for this. And we think that`s just wrong," said Don Harper, of 'No on Prop. 1' group.

Q13 FOX News political analyst C.R. Douglas discusses the issue here.