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Kirkland residents think a new property tax to fund a pool would soak taxpayers

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(The Center Square) – City officials are recommending the Kirkland City Council not pursue a property tax ballot measure to fund a new community pool after public feedback showed a majority did not support such a measure.

In November, Proposition 1 to expand aquatics, parks and recreation facilities, was turned down by Kirkland voters on a 41% to 59% vote. During a city council meeting in December, residents who led the campaign against Proposition 1 encouraged the council to explore a pool proposal funded by a voter-approved bond and run by a nonprofit organization, according to a recent memorandum.

City council staff was directed to complete a community survey to learn why Proposition 1 did not pass and get some insight into the community’s priorities for the future.

EMC Research conducted the community survey on behalf of Kirkland from Feb. 8 to Feb. 15. The survey used a random sample of 600 participants in Kirkland, with 510 indicating that they are registered voters.

Survey results showed that 64% of registered voters and 47% of all respondents said their households can’t afford anymore property tax increases right now. About 49% of registered voters and 49% of all respondents said they would not support a tax measure to fund a new indoor community pool.

The memorandum from city staff now recommends that the Kirkland City Council suspend further consideration of a 2024 community pool ballot measure based on the community feedback.

City staff found that the while there is majority support for a community pool in Kirkland, there is not majority support to fund a pool facility with a property tax measure in 2024.

The Kirkland City Council has been exploring a pool facility proposal funded by a voter-approved bond as a result of the Kirkland community expressing a need for an indoor pool.

A resolution to suspends further exploration of a property tax ballot measure to fund a community pool is on the city council’s Tuesday agenda.