The Seattle Symphony is among the arts groups to benefit from an increased sales tax in Kings County, Washington. In photo: Ludovic Morlot leads the Seattle Symphony on opening night of the 2023-24 season. Photo by Brandon Patoc.

In Tuesday’s (12/5) Seattle Times, Margo Vansynghel writes, “King County’s arts and culture sector is getting a major boost.” Kings County includes Seattle and other cities in Washington’s coastal region. “On Tuesday, the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously approved a new levy that will provide hundreds of millions in funding to arts, heritage, science, and historical preservation nonprofits over the next seven years. Funded through a 0.1% sales tax increase, the new program—called ‘Doors Open’—is expected to distribute more than $100 million to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations each year…. Hailed as a game changer, the program and its steady stream of funds will be transformative for the sector, which is still feeling the impacts of the pandemic. A wide swath of King County organizations—small and large, metropolitan and suburban, focusing on science, heritage or the arts—can receive funding, from groups like Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery to the Auburn Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle-based Northwest African American Museum. The sales tax increase, a penny for every $10 spent, will go into effect in April and is estimated to bring in roughly $72 million in 2024. That revenue is expected to increase to about $100 million in 2025.”