It is a rare opportunity when citizens have the opportunity to support their school district’s levy for operations and maintenance without seeing a corresponding rise in property tax rates.
It is even more rare when the cost of the levy is likely to decrease over the course of its life. But this win-win opportunity is exactly what voters have in the Feb. 11 College Place School District levy election.
As recently as 2000, Washington state funding for the College Place district was more than 75 percent of the school system’s budget. Now it is about 55 percent. Costs continue to rise and state funding continues to decline. The College Place School District is depending on replacing the expiring operations and maintenance levy at the same level for a full 30 percent of its budget going forward.
The levy is not a tax raise. It is not about building new buildings or adding expensive new programs, it is simply about continuing to support existing programs and operations at levels already approved by voters.
And because the district is growing and state funding is expected to increase slightly in the next several years, the levy is projected to cost 10 cents less per $1,000 of the assessed value of property at the end of its term than at the beginning and the beginning rate is simply what homeowners are already paying to support the schools under the provisions of the current levy.
So I urge my fellow citizens to join me in embracing this opportunity to continue the support for our fine public schools. Please vote “yes” in support of renewing the College Place School District’s levy for programs and operations in the upcoming election. The levy focuses on learning and growing healthy, educated kids.
Not only is it the responsible thing to do, voting “yes” is a rare win-win opportunity for the entire community.