November 6, 2018 Special Election

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Metropolitan Parks District Proposition

Parks and Recreation Funding Going to Ballot

The City Council has proposed that a Metropolitan Park District be formed to fund improved parks facilities and recreation programs in Tumwater. While a legally separate entity, the District would be the same boundaries as the City and be governed by the City Council. 
The Metropolitan Parks District would fund these priorities:

  • Additional staff and resources to improve park maintenance;
  • Develop neighborhood parks at four locations using city-owned property;
  • Acquire property for a future community center;
  • Provide matching funds for a segment of the Deschutes Valley Trail;
  • Provide support for a public arts program, historic facilities, and park restrooms.

The Proposition will be on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot and requires a simple majority for approval.


Metropolitan Parks District presentation to Council PDF file

Tumwater City Council Resolution PDF file

Ballot Language


City of Tumwater Proposition No. 1

Formation and funding of a newTumwater Metropolitan Parks District

The proposition would create the Tumwater Metropolitan Park District to provide ongoing funding to acquire, maintain, operate and improve parks, trails, recreational facilities, and programs; set district boundaries as the city’s corporate limits; designate City Council as park board with all powers set forth in 35.61 RCW; and set the maximum general tax levy rate at $.75 per $1,000 of assessed valuation beginning with $.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the first five years.

Metropolitan Parks District FAQs

What is a Metropolitan Park District (MPD)?

A MPD is a junior property taxing district with special taxing authority for the management, control, improvement, maintenance, and acquisition of parks, pathways, boulevards, recreational facilities, programs, and services.

How much would this cost?

The Tumwater Metropolitan Park District Board would set the tax rate. Current projections have targeted revenues for the first five years of the district at $1.5 million annually which at 2019 assessed values would be a rate of 45 cents per $1,000 assessed property value.  The rate increases in 2026 to 75 cents per $1,000 assessed property value generating projected revenue of $2.5 million annually.

How would MPD revenue be collected?

The MPD tax would be a component of property owners’ annual Thurston County property tax assessment administered by Thurston County.

What area would be included within the MPD?

The Tumwater MPD would include the entire area within the municipal boundaries of the City of Tumwater as they currently exist as well as they may exist as the result of future annexations.

Who would pay this tax?

Property owners within the boundaries of the City of Tumwater would pay this tax.

Would this tax expire?

The tax would not expire.

Who would govern the Tumwater MPD?

The MPD would be governed by the Tumwater Metropolitan Park District Board consisting of the Tumwater City Council.

When would the tax go into effect?

If approved, the tax would appear on tax bills beginning in 2019.

If the MPD passes, could funds be used for other City of Tumwater needs?

No, by state law, MPD funds could only be utilized for parks and recreation-related facilities, programs, and services.

How would the MPD revenue be spent?

MPD funds would be spent on park development, maintenance, trails and recreational programs and facilities as outlined in the Parks and Recreation Plan or annual capital and operating budgets approved by City Council.

Who determines what the MPD revenue would be spent on?

The City Council, in its role as the Tumwater Metropolitan Park District Board, would approve the MPD budget.

Who would provide oversight on how MPD revenue is spent?

Oversight would be provided by a 7-person Tumwater Municipal Park District Advisory Committee, comprised entirely of Tumwater residents, created to advise the City and the District. This Committee would provide an annual report to the City and the District regarding the City’s compliance with the funding levels contained in an interlocal agreement between the City and the District.

What would happen if the MPD measure fails?

Should the measure fail, there would not be additional funding for land acquisition, park development, trails, staffing or maintenance.