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Tahoma School District No. 409

Proposition No. 1
Replacement of Expiring Educational Programs and Operations Levy

The Board of Directors adopted Resolution No. 2018-06 concerning educational funding. This proposition authorizes the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District, to support the District’s educational programs and operations not funded by the state:


Collection 
Year

Estimated Levy
Rate/$1,000
Assessed Value


Levy
Amount

2019 $1.50

$10,710,073

2020 $1.50

$11,823,067

all as provided in the Resolution. Should this proposition be approved?

 

Yes

No


Passage of Proposition No. 1 would replace an expiring levy and allow the levy of $10,710,073 in property taxes within Tahoma School District for collection in 2019, and the levy of $11,823,067 for collection in 2020. In accordance with Resolution No. 2018-06 approving this proposition, these taxes would be deposited in the Tahoma School District's General Fund to pay part of the general expenses of operating the District. General expenses of the District include employee costs (such as salaries), instructional materials, special programs, activities and sports, technology systems operation, transportation costs, maintenance of facilities and other non-capital expenses of operating the District schools.

If authorized by the voters and based on projected assessed valuation information, the estimated levy rate per $1,000 of assessed value would be $1.50 for collection in the years 2019 and 2020, inclusive. The exact levy rate shall be adjusted based upon the actual assessed value of the property within the District and the legal limit of the levy amount at the time of the levy.

Vote yes for our schools and community by renewing this levy. A yes vote enables Tahoma to continue providing quality education, supporting our strong property values, healthy economy and desirable community.

Renewing the levy helps Tahoma maintain existing programs, staffing and services while the state adjusts to the new education funding model.  In 2019, if you combine this 2-year levy at $1.50 per $1,000 and the new state education tax of 95 cents, the rate is less than what you’re paying now. For example, on a $400,000 home, the cost would be $220 less annually.

Examples of what is funded entirely or in part through levy dollars: security; nurses; special education; support for struggling students; every sport; all activity programs including drama, band, robotics; transportation; expanded electives at middle school; before and after-school care; zero-hour classes; new models including THS 8-period day, elementary art, elementary Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM); summer school; community use of facilities.

The district is committed to meeting expectations of transparency, accountability, and sustainability. For details, visit www.tahomasd.us.

Levy failure endangers the district’s programs for students, and its excellent fiscal rating.

When levies fail, the entire community suffers. Vote yes to maintain our outstanding district!

As a father of 6 children in the district for the next 15 years, I do not take lightly the responsibility for writing this statement.  I also wrote the prior statements against the failed levies.

Even the district recognizes that a major reason for the failed levies was the lack of a bottoms-up needs assessment and the detail math behind the amount requested, especially given the significant increase in state funding. As of the date of this statement (Feb. 27th), I am still waiting for that detail.

Notably, the state is now obligated to fully fund basic education, including teacher salaries. And, unlike prior levies, this levy can be used solely for “enrichment” purposes. So, the question for voters is as follows:  How much does the district really need solely for “enrichment” purposes?

In the absence of information, I worked with a team to do our own assessment, and we suggested that the district levy less than the maximum amount.  The district rejected this suggestion and again set the levy at the maximum rate ($1.50).

Although skeptical, many of us are still willing to listen.  For an updated analysis prior to voting, feel free to email me at fletcherbarkdull@gmail.com.

State funding uncertainty still exists. The question is: Do voters want to maintain staff and programs of this outstanding school district that are paid either entirely or partially from levy funds? We ask voters to maintain the $1.50 rate for continuity. A two-year renewal prevents a funding gap while legislators adjust state allocation. Tahoma proudly strives to meet the demands of our community. The district website has links to updated McCleary transition changes impacting Tahoma.

Submitted by: Angela Stewart, Brett Habenicht, Krissy Riggs http://www.voteyestahoma.com

The Pro statement conveniently omits rising property values as a key factor in determining the overall tax burden. Taxpayers can’t be expected to accept the maximum tax burden ($1.50) when the district hasn’t even completed a needs analysis or provided a detailed breakdown of funding use.

The statement also fails to recognize new limitations on levy use and recent increases in state funding for things like security, librarians, nurses, teachers and staff (beyond basic education).

Submitted by: Fletcher Barkdull fletcherbarkdull@gmail.com

 Simple majority (Washington Constitution, Art. VII, Sec. 2(a))

For questions about this measure, contact: Kevin Patterson, Public Relations Officer 425-413-3409 kpatters@tahomasd.us

 

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