While a lawyer for opponents of the project lauded Tuesday’s ruling as a “likely death blow” to the project, the director of the county’s Facilities Management Division called it a “technical ruling regarding the method for levy collection.”
King County said Tuesday it will appeal to the state Supreme Court an appeals-court ruling that found voters were provided flawed language on the funding mechanism when they approved a ballot measure to build a new Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle’s Central Area.
At issue is the property-tax levels used to fund the project. The appeals court, reversing Pierce County Superior Court, found “Prop. 1’s ballot title did not expressly authorize the County to levy property taxes based on the increased base tax amount in the first year of the levy.”
While a lawyer for opponents of the youth courthouse and jail, End the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC), lauded Tuesday’s 3-0 ruling as a “likely death blow” to the project, Anthony Wright, director of the county’s Facilities Management Division called it a “technical ruling regarding the method for levy collection.”
County voters in 2012 approved a $210 million levy to pay for a replacement for the existing juvenile-justice complex at 12th Avenue and East Alder Street. Construction has begun on the facility.
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The appeals court rejected another claim of opponents, agreeing with King County that the purpose of the levy was made clear to voters.
State law requires the county to maintain a youth-detention center, and supporters of the new center say it will have fewer beds and more amenities than the existing facility.
EPIC’s attorney, Knoll Lowney, said in a new release that it was “unconscionable that the County is seeking to build a new jail to expand incarceration of Black and Brown kids.”