Educational Programs & Operations Levy Q & As

  • Why are levies important?
     
    Levies pay for basics not fully funded by the state, such as teachers and staff, bus transportation, textbooks, and maintaining safe and healthy schools. Levy funding makes up 21 percent of the district’s 2014-15 operating budget.
     
     
    When was the last levy approved by voters? 
     
    In February 2015, voters approved a three-year levy.  
     
     
    How much money does Highline's current levy provide for schools?
     
    The current levy will raise no more than the following amounts: 
     
    Year Maximum amount to be collected 
    2016 $ 55.5 million
    2017 $ 60.8 million 
    2018 $ 64.7 million 
     
    The tax rate is determined by combined home values in the community. The estimated tax rate for 2016 will be no higher than $4.22 per $1000 assessed valuation of your home.

    The tax rate is adjusted annually as property values change to allow the district to collect no more than the amount approved by voters.
     

    What happens if property values increase?
     
    If property values go up, the tax rate is adjusted downward. The school district does not collect more revenue as property values increase.
     
     
    How will this tax impact senior citizens?
     
    Low income seniors and people with disabilities may qualify for an exemption. To apply for this exemption, call the King County Tax Exemptions Office at 206-296-3920 or visit their website.
     
    What is the difference between a school bond and a school levy?
     
    Levies are for learning. Levies raise funds for educating students and operating schools. When voters approve a levy, they are agreeing to pay taxes to fund these services.
     
    Bonds are for building. Bonds are pay for capital facilities needs. Voters approve a measure allowing the school district to borrow money for facilities improvements. The district issues bonds to raise the money up front. Similar to a home mortgage, the district repays the money (plus interest) in installments over time. Bond dollars can only be used for capital improvements.