Levy 2022

The South Whidbey School District Board of Directors voted to place a replacement Education Levy on the Feb. 8, 2022 ballot.

The levy is not a new tax. It renews an expiring tax that provides local funding for critical needs not covered by state and federal funding.

This levy is the second largest revenue source for the South Whidbey School District, making up about 16% of the budgeted general fund and approval would renew funding for three years through 2025.

How much funding will the levy generate for schools?

The South Whidbey School District would be allowed to collect the following maximum for each of the three years:

Collection                         Maximum                          Est. Levy Rate/$1000

    Year                                 Amount                                  Assessed Value
    2023                                 $3,400,000                                         $.55
    2024                                 $3,500,000                                         $.51
    2025                                 $3,600,000                                         $.48

The actual levy will be the lower of voter authorization, the per pupil amount for the calendar year, or any subsequent legislative action.

How does this compare with the previous levies?

The voters approved the current(expiring) levy at the following rates:

Collection                         Maximum                          Est. Levy Rate/$1000

    Year                                 Amount                                  Assessed Value
    2020                                 $4,017,000                                        $.95
    2021                                 $4,018,000                                        $.95
    2022                                 $4,019,000                                        $.95

The voters approved the previous levy at the following rates:

Collection                         Maximum                          Est. Levy Rate/$1000

    Year                                 Amount                                  Assessed Value
    2017                                 $4,150,000                                        $1.05
    2018                                 $4,225,000                                        $1.05
    2019                                 $4,300,000                                        $1.05

What happens if property values increase?

If property values go up, the levy rate is adjusted downward. The school district cannot collect more than the amount approved by voters. Increases in property values do not generate more revenue for the school district.

How to calculate the Education Levy cost on your home:

2022    $400,000 Assessed Value

400,000 / $1,000 = $400
$400 X $.95 (current Education Levy tax rate) = $380.00 per year
$380.00 / 12 months = $31.67 per month

2023    $450,000 Assessed Value

450,000 / $1,000 = $450
$450 X $.55 (proposed Education Levy tax rate) = $247.50 per year
$247.50/ 12 months = $20.63 per month

 

Isn’t the State “fully funding” education? I thought the state eliminated the need for local levies?

The state Legislature increased state property taxes in 2018 with the intent of lowering the local portion of school taxes, not eliminating them. Here is why the state’s property tax is not a perfect solution:

We see continued shortfalls between “full State funding” and actual costs for programs and services. This levy pays for programs and services important to our community that are not funded or not fully funded by the State. Replacement of the District’s expiring Educational Programs and Operations Levy will continue our present level of programs and services.

The Education Levy is the district’s second largest revenue source and represents roughly 16% of the budgeted general fund. The state provides a prototypical school funding model that funds a percentage of the district’s expenditures. Levy dollars provides for the difference between actual operating costs and the state funding model. 

Levy money is used to pay for librarians, counselors, classified instructional support staff, classroom substitutes, library resources, elective and enrichment classes, coaches and advisors for co-curricular activities, pupil transportation, food service, utilities, insurance and essential Special Education services that are not funded by the state or federal government.

The state money must be spent in very specific ways. Those restrictions eliminate much of our local control for the programs our community supports.

How can I get additional information on the levy?

Please contact Dan Poolman at 360-221-6100, or dpoolman@sw.wednet.edu

 Where can I get information about property tax exemptions?

State law provides tax benefit exemptions for low income senior citizens and people with disabilities. In addition, low income home owners may be eligible for property tax deferrals.

For more information, visit the Island County Assessor’s Office online or call 360-678-7853.

 

 

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