Neighborhood associations, sports leagues and the public often request more parks, trails and ball fields to meet rising demand due to increasing populations. Dense development increases the demand for places to play and enjoy nature closer to home and Clark County recognizes this need.
Prior to voters approving the Greater Clark Parks District levy in 2005, Clark County had wisely been acquiring land when it was available for future parks - before residential or commercial developments are built. In addition, millions of dollars had been collected through Park Impact Fees and the Real Estate Excise Tax to help fund design and construction of new parks on that property. However, none of this park development money could be spent until additional funding for long-term maintenance of these new parks was first provided.
Maintenance and operations funding does not come from Park Impact Fees or the Real Estate Excise Tax. With increasing competition for county general fund money, another source of funding was needed. A metropolitan park district can provide that funding, and many cities and counties have turned to these special districts to fill this growing need.
In 2005, Clark County voters in the unincorporated urban area outside the City of Vancouver passed Proposition 1, which created a metropolitan parks district known officially as the Greater Clark Parks District. This special parks district raised property taxes by 27 cents per $1,000 assessed value within the unincorporated urban urea, which will be used to pay for maintenance, operations and construction of new parks located within its boundaries. The first property tax collection for the Greater Clark Parks District occurred in 2006.