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Countywide levy would raise $10.7 million for veterans

The Mirror

A panel of regional government leaders wants voters to approve a portion of property taxes in King County to support programs for military veterans.

The Metropolitan King County Council’s Regional Policy Committee called last Wednesday for a ballot measure for a dedicated property tax increase for veterans’ services.

The council will decide if the proposal goes before voters in this November’s election.

“There is a need to increase funding for human service programs for veterans and their families,” said Doug Hoople, vice chairman of King County Veterans Advisory Board.

The committee advocates taxing property at a rate of 4.1 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The median household in King County would pay $10.82 to support the levy, with roughly 40 percent of homeowners paying less than $10. The total take is estimated at $10.7 million in 2006, officials said.

Veterans returning from Iraq would receive assistance with housing, mental health counseling and emergency food, transportation and medical care, said Councilman Bob Ferguson, a committee member.

“Our veterans and their families deserve our support,” he said.

According to the committee, 180,000 veterans live in King County, and 1,600 are homeless.

Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, whose district includes Federal Way, said he hadn’t studied the request and declined comment.

The committee includes County Council members and elected officials from several cities.

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