Conservation Futures

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The Conservation Futures statute authorizes counties to levy a tax of up to 6.25 cents per $1,000 of property value for the purpose of open space acquisition. Up to 15% of that revenue may be used for parks operations.

RCW 84.34.230 - For the purpose of acquiring conservation futures and other rights and interests in real property pursuant to RCW 84.34.210 and 84.34.220, and for maintaining and operating any property acquired with these funds, a county may levy an amount not to exceed six and one-quarter cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation against the assessed valuation of all taxable property within the county. The limitations in RCW 84.52.043 shall not apply to the tax levy authorized in this section. Any rights or interests in real property acquired under this section after July 24, 2005, must be located within the assessing county. Further, the county must determine if the rights or interests in real property acquired with these funds would reduce the capacity of land suitable for development necessary to accommodate the allocated housing and employment growth, as adopted in the countywide planning policies. When actions are taken that reduce capacity to accommodate planned growth, the jurisdiction shall adopt reasonable measures to increase the capacity lost by such actions.

RCW 84.240 - Any board of county commissioners may establish by resolution a special fund which may be termed a conservation futures fund to which it may credit all taxes levied pursuant to RCW 84.34.230. Amounts placed in this fund may be used for the purpose of acquiring rights and interests in real property pursuant to the terms of RCW 84.34.210 and 84.34.220, and for the maintenance and operation of any property acquired with these funds. The amount of revenue used for maintenance and operations of parks and recreational land may not exceed fifteen percent of the total amount collected from the tax levied under RCW 84.34.230 in the preceding calendar year.