Levy Information

February 13, 2018 Levy Information
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What will the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy money support?

The Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy helps to pay for costs associated with:      

  • music, drama and art programs,

  • student activities and athletics

  • school counselors

  • special education

  • transportation

  • food service

  • instructional materials

  • campus security 

  • personnel costs beyond state funding allocation.

Take food services, for example. We know kids who come to school hungry aren’t focused on learning. From September 5th of this school year, through the end of November, we have served 26,506 elementary and secondary breakfasts and 74,005 lunches. We employ 25 child nutrition staff members at six schools. These folks make sure our food service system is healthy, tasty and runs smoothly.

Why is an Educational Programs Operation Replacement Levy necessary? Is White River the only district asking voters for this?

New state funding doesn’t take away the entire need for levy dollars. School districts across the state, including White River are asking voters to approve Educational Programs and Operation Replacement levies to cover the gap, but at a much lower tax rate than you are currently paying.

The M&O Levy that voters approved in 2013 will be collecting at a rate of $3.45 per thousand of home value this year. The upcoming Educational Programs and Operation Replacement Levy (renamed by the state) is asking for a rate of $1.50 per thousand of home value beginning in 2019. These levy funds make up about 10% of our annual budget. Again, this is not a new tax, it is a renewal levy at a lower tax rate!

Why do we need a Capital Levy?

Specifically, this Capital Levy will be used to pay for improvements to technology including equipment, infrastructure and training. These levy dollars will also support critical projects such as replacement of the White River High School roof, improved parking at Elk Ridge Elementary School, replacement of the maintenance building at Glacier Middle School, and will add classrooms to meet K-3 class size reduction requirements.

Why does White River High School need a new roof?

Seventeen years ago, the high school was constructed with a built-up style roof. The product used for the roof is failing. Our recourse is limited. The company that supplied the failing product is out of business. If the roof material layers do not unite correctly, they do not adhere properly and water gets between the layers creating rising blisters that open, causing leaks. This is happening on a grand scale at the high school where we have more than 100,000 square feet of this material in use.

Will my school taxes really be lower?

YES!

Currently, the tax rate we are paying is $5.88 per thousand.  (This includes the 2016 Bond and the 2013 M&O Levy (renamed ‘Educational Programs Renewal’ by the state).

With the passage of the proposed Educational Programs and Operation Replacement and Capital levies and the 2015 Bond, the approved combined rate is projected to be $4.77 per thousand.  This is a tax reduction of over a dollar per thousand than what taxpayers are currently paying!

Our White River kids need you to vote on the February ballot.

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