The Nov. 7 King County ballot will include the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy. Voters have supported a Veterans and Human Services levy since 2005. Seniors are included in the proposed levy due to the growing percentage of King County seniors and the reduction in funding for seniors. The levy cost in the first year will be 10 cents for each thousand dollars of assessed valuation. Annual levy increases are limited to 3.5 percent in the following years. Thus, in the first year a home at assessed at $650,000 will pay but $65.
One-third of the levy will be allocated for veterans, military service members and their respective families, one-third for seniors and one-third for human services. In the first year, at least 50 percent and thereafter 25 percent of the proceeds in each category must be spent for capital facilities and regional health and human services that promote housing stability. Initially, an additional part of the senior allocation must be spent on seniors who are veterans and/or military service members.
Since 2012, the current levy has served over 183,000 clients, more than 30,000 who have been veterans, military personnel or their families. Accomplishments include: awarding funds toward building 857 units of affordable housing, gaining or maintaining housing for over 3,200 persons, screening 12,500 mothers for maternal depression, providing 15,000 counseling hours to veterans and their families, and saving $7 million by stabilizing an average of 780 clients each year, thus reducing their emergency medical and criminal justice involvement and costly crisis services.
As an active member of many senior organizations and a Bellevue resident concerned about veterans, seniors, vulnerable persons and housing, I encourage everyone to vote for this levy.
Diana F. Thompson