November 6, 2018 General Election

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Proposition No. 1 Metropolitan Park District

Maintain, Improve, and Build

Parks, Playgrounds & Trails | Community Center | Public Pool Property
Cultural Heritage, Community Arts & Recreation Programs

Proposition 1 is a ballot measure asking the voters of the City of Tumwater to consider forming a Metropolitan Park District that would collect property tax to maintain, improve, and build parks, trails and recreation programs. While a legally separate entity, the District would have the same boundaries as the City and be governed by the City Council. 

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

Approval of this measure would provide dedicated and sustainable funding for Tumwater’s Parks and Recreation programs and facilities. This will extend the useful life of our most used parks and playgrounds, address safety and security issues, invest in underserved neighborhoods, improve energy efficiency, and preserve new open spaces.

Metropolitan Park District
Election Information
PDF file

MPD Election Info

Proposition No. 1, if approved, would fund these priorities:

  • Parks and playgrounds maintenance and safety;
  • New neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and restrooms;
  • Community Center with meeting and event space, senior services, indoor sports courts, and land for a future public swimming pool;
  • Trail expansion along the Deschutes River Valley; and
  • Community arts and cultural heritage programs, historic properties, recreation programs, and a community garden.

With funding from a Metropolitan Park District, the City would spend $1.5 million annually for our parks, playgrounds, and trails improvements in the first five years.

MPD Election Info 2

Why Parks?  Why Now?

The City has invested in parks, trails, and open spaces over the years, but there are no dedicated revenue sources to maintain and improve those properties.

Over the years, City Council and staff have taken a number of cost-savings actions to streamline and increase operational efficiency as revenues have declined for parks and recreation programs and facilities.

The City's general fund cannot support the ongoing costs of operation, maintenance and acquisition of new park lands, recreational facilities and staffing at a level which will meet the growing needs and desires of the our residents  


How Did We Get Here?

In 2008 the Tumwater Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan identified a lack of dedicated and sustainable funding for park facilities and recreation programs. At that time there was discussion about identifying additional funding sources, but there were other priorities for which the City sought voter support, such as public safety and street maintenance ballot measures. 

In 2016, the Tumwater Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan was updated, and the City Council approved the formation of a task force to study and make a recommendation that would provide an adequate funding source for park facilities and recreation programs. The Task Force conducted a community-wide survey and studied the results, and then recommended the creation of a Metropolitan Park District, with specific program and facility improvements to the City Council. 

In 2018, Tumwater City Council unanimously voted to include the Metropolitan Park District measure on the November 6 General Election ballot to provide dedicated sustainable funding to maintain, improve and build park facilities and recreation programs.

Creating a Metropolitan Park District: Parks Plan, Community Survey, and Council Resolution

Metropolitan Park District Presentation PDF file
Tumwater City Council Resolution PDF file
Tumwater Parks Plan PDF file
Tumwater Parks Community Survey
 PDF file

Need More Information?

If you have additional questions or need more information about the proposed Metropolitan Park District, contact Chuck Denney at, or call (360) 754-4160.

Metropolitan Park 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.

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.