An Opportunity to Advocate for Seniors

This post has been shared by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, which runs the Greenwood Senior Center and our “sister village” the PNA Village in northwest Seattle.

We have an exciting opportunity for you to advocate for seniors in King County.

The Veterans and Human Services Levy is up for renewal, and the County Executive made a decision to add funding for older adults to this new levy! These new funds will make it possible for the aging network (which can include senior centers and village programs) to support the desire of older adults to remain citizens in their community. The new levy will:

“ ….strengthen the county’s capacity to connect veterans to opportunity, help veterans, seniors, and vulnerable populations gain or maintain affordable housing, and add new services to help the region’s rapidly growing senior population.”

The current levy is 5 cents per $1,000 assessed value. The executives proposed levy will be 12 cents assessed value to pay for services for older adults and more affordable housing (there will an exemption for low-income older adults and veterans).

We are asking that you send a note to your County Council Member by June 30 and let them know what you think of the plans for the new levy to include support for seniors.

You can contact your council member via this link.

Or send them a note:
(Your King County Council Member’s name)
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104

Important additional information:

  • Tim Eyman’s previous initiative limits the county to raising only 1% each year, but county expenses are rising 2-3%, so the only way to maintain or add services is to do these special levies
  • Reality is that our tax burden is on the lower side because we have no income tax, but our tax system is regressive and our housing values keep going up, which results in bigger property tax bills
  • Between 2010 and 2030, the number of seniors in King County will have nearly doubled to 400,000 people – accounting more than 18 percent of the total population. In 2030 – just 13 years from now – the first members of Generation X will retire. The region’s senior population is increasing at the same time that federal and philanthropic funding for senior services is decreasing. For seniors – many of whom live on fixed incomes – growing costs of living and declining funding combine to threaten their ability to remain in King County. The next version of the levy will increase investments in programs that keep seniors connected to the communities they helped build. It will reduce the number of seniors who are displaced by investing in affordable housing and programs that prevent seniors from becoming isolated.
© Copyright 2017 Phinney Neighborhood Association

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