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King County voters approved a six-year levy that will give the county parks department 80 percent more funding than the last levy.

As of Tuesday night, 69 percent of voters approved the measure.

An 18.77-cent tax per $1,000 of assessed property value is expected to bring in about $396 million that will be used to maintain and expand trails, recreational facilities and open space. The tax goes into effect in 2014, and could be subject to increases based on percentage changes in the county property index assessment each year after that.

An owner of a $300,000 home will pay a levy tax of about $56 a year.

Nearly half of the funds will be spent on maintenance and operations of the county parks. Another 39 percent chunk will be spent on open-space lands, natural areas, trailhead facilities and improvement of park-system infrastructure. The rest will be spent on environmental education led by the Woodland Park Zoological Society, and by King County cities for local park projects.

A nine-member citizen oversight board nominated by county councilmembers will be responsible for reviewing all levy expenditures.

Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or