Highline voters were asked to renew an educational programs and operations levy in February 2018 to replace an expiring levy. The levy passed with results showing more than 58% voting in favor of renewal.
Local levy funding allows us to provide the quality education our community expects for our children, which goes beyond the minimum funded by the state.
Levy dollars pay for needs not fully funded by the state, such as:
- Additional teachers and support staff
- Educational help for students with special needs
- Outdoor education experiences at Camp Waskowitz, including sixth-grade camp
- Extended learning opportunities for students who need extra help
- Athletic programs
- School nurses (State funding pays for only three school nurses to serve our entire district; we pay for 15 nurses who serve medically fragile students as well as general health and safety needs.)
- Teacher training days
- School security officers
The 2018 levy measure will raise a maximum of $198 million over four years.
The estimated levy rate is $1.50 per $1000 in assessed home valuation. Here is the maximum amount that can be collected:
- 2019: $47,329,540
- 2020: $48,749,426
- 2021: $50,211,909
- 2022: $51,718,266
In comparison, the 2017 levy tax rate was $3.38 per $1,000 assessed home value with a maximum collection of $60.8 million.
The district cannot collect more than the amount approved by voters. If property values rise, tax rates decrease so that the dollar amount you pay remains the same. The district does not receive a windfall as property values go up.
The state education funding plan is a step in the right direction, but the state is not yet fully covering all basic education costs. We still need a local levy.
The new state plan reduces the amount of funding we can request from local taxpayers when we renew our educational programs levy. Even with passage of a renewal levy, we will actually see a net reduction in funding after 2018 unless lawmakers make changes to the current funding plan.
Our levy makes up 21 percent of our current revenue. Levy failure will mean significant reductions in staff, programs, and services for students.
- I thought the Legislature fixed education funding. Schools are getting more money from the state. Aren’t schools fully funded now?
- I heard there is an increase in state property taxes. Can you help me figure out what to expect in with my property tax rate?
- The Legislature passed a state property tax for education funding. Why do you need a local levy?
- I thought the state eliminated the need for local levies?
- Why are levies important and what will our local levy pay for?
- Why happens if the levy doesn't pass?
- What happens if property values increase?
- How will this tax impact senior citizens?
- What is the difference between a school bond and a school levy?