Apr 25, 2023 - Politics

Ballots on King County mental health levy are due

Illustration of a ballot balancing on a finger.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Tuesday is the deadline to return your ballot if you want to help determine how King County provides mental health services.

Why it matters: Today's special election will decide whether the county will raise property taxes to pay for behavioral health services, including five new walk-in crisis centers that will be open 24 hours a day.

Details: The measure on the ballot, Proposition 1, asks voters to approve a new nine-year property tax levy, which would raise about $1.25 billion through 2032.

  • The levy would impose a new tax of $0.145 per $1,000 of assessed property value. In 2024, that would be roughly an extra $120 a year for the median Seattle home.
  • In addition to the five walk-in crisis clinics, the levy would increase the number of residential behavioral health treatment beds countywide and help increase pay for behavioral health workers.
  • According to the text of the measure, King County had 255 mental health treatment beds as of August 2022, down from 355 in 2018. Proposition 1 sets a goal of restoring those lost beds.

Be smart: Sending your ballot through the mail today isn't advisable as it might not get an on-time postmark. To ensure your ballot counts, it's best to drop it at an official ballot drop box.

  • Ballots must be placed in a drop box by 8pm or be postmarked by today to be considered valid.

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