Proposal to Renew Local Assessment
The Whidbey Island Conservation District (WICD) and Snohomish Conservation District (SCD) are proposing to renew our Island County assessment and change to a system of rates & charges for another 10-year period. This renewal is essential to our ability to continue providing vital programs and services which help sustain local working lands, improve soil health and water quality, enhance wildlife habitat, increase public education opportunities, and much more.
In 2010, the Board of Island County Commissioners approved a special assessment of $5/parcel + $0.05/acre to help fund the programs and services WICD and SCD deliver on Whidbey and Camano Islands, respectively. The revenue generated from this assessment originally enabled both districts to develop programs and services to meet the demands of local landowners and residents beyond the limitations of grant funded projects. Revenue from the current assessment now represents 1/3 of our annual budget with the remaining 2/3 sourced through grant funding. This assessment is due to expire at the end of 2019.
Our proposal to change from a special assessment to rates & charges is intended to implement a more appropriate method of charging properties. This intention is founded on the principle that different land uses have different conservation needs, receive different benefits, and therefore should be charged different rates. The special assessment is a flat rate for all parcels regardless of land use or benefit received. We have been working with a financial consultant to assess these factors and assign rates accordingly. By statute, rates cannot exceed $5/parcel + $0.10/acre nor be adjusted without legislative action.
It is worth noting that, compared to the current assessment, the proposed change to rates & charges will result in some landowners being charged slightly less, most will be charged the same, and some will be charged slightly more. This change is also expected to increase our revenue by only 1% to 3%. This means we will continue offering the same, high quality services and meeting the demands of local landowners on essentially the same amount of money (barring grants) over a 20-year period.
We need your help!
Approval of our rates & charges proposal is ultimately a Board of Island County Commissioners decision based on public support. If you value our non-regulatory, voluntary approach to natural resource conservation, we encourage you to show your support!
Two ways to show support:
Show Your Support - Write a Letter!
Step 1 - Write Your Letter of Support; choose one of the following ways:
Step 2 - Mail or Email Your Letter to WICD:
You can either:
(1) Mail your letter to:
Whidbey Island Conservation District
P.O. Box 490
Coupeville, WA 98239
(2) Email your letter as an attachment to email@example.com.
We'd appreciate letters by no later than Friday, July 26, 2019 by close of business.
Step 3 - We'll Include Your Letter in Our Proposal. Thank You!
Click a Tab Below for More Resources:
2010 - 2020 SPECIAL ASSESSMENT
A Brief History of Our
Funding for the Whidbey Island Conservation District comes from a variety of sources, including grants, inter-local agreements with Island County and other entities, and a local special assessment. Special assessments are authorized by RCW 89.08.400 to finance the activities of a conservation district.
On November 25, 2009, the Board of Island County Commissioners (BICC) adopted
Ordinance No. C-148-09 approving a Special Assessment to help fund the Whidbey Island Conservation District's work on Whidbey Island, and the Snohomish Conservation District's work on Camano Island.
To learn more about this special assessment, click here.
DISTRICT ANNUAL & LONG RANGE WORK PLANS
District Plans of Work
The Whidbey Island Conservation District's work plans are based on input from local residents, landowners, and partners, and guided by our board of supervisors. To view current and previous annual and long-range plans of work, click here to be directed to the WICD Work Plan page.
MEET OUR BOARD SUPERVISORS & STAFF
Meet the Board & Staff
Most people agree that conservation works best when people who live and work in an area learn to take care of their own natural resources. Whidbey Island Conservation District is guided by a five-member volunteer board of supervisors and local staff with professional expertise, all of whom have a personal investment and interest in improving the quality of life in their communities on Whidbey Island.
2010 - 2020 accomplishments
WICD's Service Highlights Over
the Past 10 Years
Annual Accomplishment Summaries FY 2011 - 2018