Questions & Answers
Is this a new levy?
The educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy is not new. It is a replacement levy as the current EP&O levy will expire 12-31-20. This replacement levy, if passed, would begin 01-01-21.The capital levy is a new levy.
How much will this levy cost the property owners in the Yakima School District?
EP&O Replacement Levy: The collection amount for the first year of the replacement levy (2021) is $14,694,709. In 2016, the voters approved $14,600,00 for 2020, or a levy rate of $3.05 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Capital Levy: The collection amount for the first year of the capital levy is $3,174,057, or a levy rate of $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
The proposed local levy rate of the two levies combined in 2021 is expected to approximately be $3.04 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Didn't we just vote and pass a levy to build new high schools?
No, the high school construction was funded with a bond, which was voted and passed in 2009. The last education programs and operations (EP&O) levy was voted and passed in 2016. It was a 4-year levy that expires in 2020. Levy funds contribute to the overall operating budget of a school district. A way to remember the difference between a bond and a levy is that "bonds are for buildings and levies are for learning."
If the EP&O levy raises approximately $15 million annually, why do you call this a $35 million levy?
$15 million is the cost to local property owners through a property tax assessment. If this levy passes, Yakima School District will receive approximately $20 million from the state in what is called Levy Equalization or Local Effort Assistance (LEA). $15 million + $20 million = $35 million
This is more than a dollar to dollar match by the state. If the levy does not pass, Yakima School District will receive zero dollars in levy equalization from the state - a loss of $20 million annually from the state.
Is this the right time to be asking the community for funding?
Our current levy is going to expire at the end of 2020. Yakima residents have a history of support for public education. We have had an education program and operations levy in place consistently for the past 20 years. Consistent, local investment in our schools ensures a well-rounded quality education for students for years to come.
What does the levy fund?
The maintenance and operations levy provides support in nearly every area of students' day-to-day education. The levy helps pay for things the state does not fully fund, such as:
• Athletics Activities
• Arts, Drama & Music Activities
• Advanced Placement Classes & International Baccalaureate Program
• Enrichment Compensation
• Health & Safety Resources
• Social-Emotional Learning
• Special Education
• Technology Instruction