In 2017, the Washington State Legislature made sweeping changes to the way schools are funded. State lawmakers and school district officials continue to learn about the impacts of these changes. Here’s what we know now:
- The state school property tax will increase by an estimated $0.81 per $1,000 assessed value (AV) in 2018.
- Locally-funded funded levies will be capped at $1.50 per $1,000 AV in 2019.
OSPI recently put forward two bills (SB 6362 and HB 2721) to address the new levy cap, and State Superintendent Chris Reykdahl just released a video to explain the “levy cliff” issue that has arisen because of the levy cap.
“It is critical that we continue to educate our communities on the vital role local levies play in providing comprehensive services for our students,” says Reykdahl.
The impacts of the state funding changes for Clark County (as they stand now) have been summarized in a fact sheet (download here). The ESD is working with the Clark County Assessor’s Office to create a web site with this information that includes links to district-specific information. The website is expected to be completed soon, and we’ll post the link when it is. For information on the tax changes in other Southwest region counties, visit the following:
- Cowlitz County Assessor
- Klickitat County Assessor
- Pacific County Assessor
- Skamania County Assessor
- Wahkiakum County Assessor
These changes come at a time when many districts’ levies are expiring, so communicating the funding changes to their voters has been a significant challenge, whether they are running replacement levies or new capital bonds. The following ESD 112 region districts have funding measures in the February 13 election:
- Battle Ground – $225 million Bond
- Castle Rock – 2-year Enrichment Levy
- Centerville – 2-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy and 2-year Tech Levy
- Evergreen – $695 million Bond
- Glenwood – 2-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy
- Kalama – 2-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy and $63 million Bond
- Kelso – 2-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy and $99 million Bond
- La Center – $48 million Bond
- Longview – 2-year Enrichment Levy and 4-year CPF/Tech Levy
- Roosevelt – 3-year Educational Programs & Operations Levy
- Wishram – 2-year Enrichment Levy