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FAQ's EP&O Levy

11 months ago

What does the Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy pay for?


Levies are for Learning

The Levy RENEWS funding for learning programs (activities, band, choir, drama, STEM, athletics, etc…) for three years (2019, 2020, and 2021). The levy additionally provides funding for smaller class sizes, reading, music, and PE specialists, counselors, School Resource Deputy, electives, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, College in the HS classes, intervention staff, nurses, utilities, substitutes, and paraeducators.

 

Transportation

As a district with the 3rd largest geographic area in the state, the levy also backfills what the state does not fund for transportation. Most recently, we have paid about $250,000 out of our levy for transportation.

 

Special Education

Because the state only funds special education costs up to 13.5% of a district’s student enrollment, and we have 16.9% of our students who receive special education services, we must use levy funds to backfill special education costs.


If the Levy would not have been renewed, what would be most impacted?


Activities: ASB, leadership, and afterschool programs

Arts: band, choir, elementary music, and drama

Athletics: over half of our students participate in some kind of sport

STEM: (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs

PLUS...smaller class sizes, reading, music, math, and PE specialists, counselors, etc…

 

NOTE: The REPLACEMENT Educational Programs & Operations Levy required 50% + 1 “yes” votes to pass.

 

Why is this called a “Replacement Educational Programs and Operation Levy?”

The ballot measure was titled a “replacement” levy because this is not a new tax request. Instead, this measure asked voters to continue the three-year educational programs and operation levy they approved in 2015.


How often do we vote for the Educational Programs & Operations Levy?


The last levy election was February 2015. Like many school districts, Riverside operates the EP & O Levy on a 3-year cycle. Levy elections are held every three years and are necessary to renew the expiring Educational Programs & Operations Levy, formerly known as the Maintenance & Operations (M&O) Levy. The law now disallows the use of the term “maintenance.” Riverside voters have a long history of supporting local levies. The next EP & O levy will run February of 2021.

 

Does the district collect more money if more homes or businesses are built?


The Educational Programs & Operations Levy has a renewal rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the assessed value increases, the amount collected for the levy could increase if the maximum total levy amount has not yet been reached. However, if the assessed value decreases, the amount collected for the levy will go down because the levy rate remains constant at $1.50.

 

Maximum EP & O levy amounts for 2019, 2020 and 2021 are:

●     2019 - $1,664,500

●     2020 - $1,864,200

●     2021 - $2,087,900

 

If both levies receive voter approval, then what will the combined tax rate be?


With the new way Washington State is funding education if BOTH levies are approved the amount people pay in school taxes will actually go down. Combined levy tax rates for the next four years will be:

 

-$3.14 is the current rate in 2017

-$2.99 in 2018

-$2.30 in 2019-2021 ($1.50 levy + $.80 levy #2) - DECREASE of $.84 from current rate and - $.69 from the next calendar year

 

How do our proposed levy tax rates compare to historical levy tax rates in Riverside?

 

Historical Tax Rates in Riverside

Year

Bond

Capital Project Levy

Technology Levy

Transportation Levy

M&O Levy

TOTAL

1996

$2.77

-

-

-

$2.77

$5.55

1997

$2.78

-

-

-

$3.90

$6.68

1998

$2.45

-

-

-

$3.70

$6.15

1999

$2.65

-

-

-

$3.36

$6.01

2000

$2.59

-

-

-

$3.23

$5.81

2001

$2.44

-

-

-

$3.22

$5.66

2002

$2.32

-

-

-

$2.99

$5.31

2003

$2.19

-

-

-

$2.83

$5.01

2004

$1.80

-

-

-

$2.71

$4.51

2005

$1.59

-

-

-

$2.51

$4.10

2006

$1.37

-

-

-

$2.21

$3.58

2007

$0.33

-

-

-

$2.65

$2.98

2008

-

-

-

-

$2.44

$2.44

2009

-

-

-

-

$2.30

$2.30

2010

-

-

-

-

$2.71

$2.71

2011

-

-

-

-

$2.94

$2.94

2012

-

-

-

-

$3.09

$3.09

2013

-

-

-

-

$3.54

$3.54

2014

-

-

-

-

$3.53

$3.53

2015

-

-

-

-

$3.51

$3.51

2016

-

-

-

-

$3.35

$3.35

2017

-

-

-

-

$3.14

$3.14

2018

-

-

-

-

$2.99

$2.99

2019

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

2020

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

2021

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

 

How do our local levy tax rates compare with neighboring school districts?


With the new way Washington State is funding public schools the M&O Levy will be replaced for all school districts with a local Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O). The Riverside EP&O Levy rate will be $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is the same rate that all school districts in the Spokane area will be asking voters to consider. The state legislature wants to level the playing field so that no matter where you live in Washington the local, voter approved, levy rate will be the same.

 

For the Riverside School District the current levy rate is $3.14 . . . it will drop to $1.50, which is the three-year renewal rate for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

 

If my assessed property value goes up does the school district get more money?


The Educational Programs & Operations Levy has a renewal rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the assessed value increases the amount collected for the levy could increase if the maximum total levy amount has not yet been reached. However, if the assessed value decreases the amount collected for the levy will go down because the levy rate remains constant at $1.50.

 

Maximum levy amounts for 2019, 2020 and 2021 are:

●     2019 - $1,664,500

●     2020 - $1,864,200

●     2021 - $2,087,900

 

 

Where does the district get its funding?


With the new way Washington State is funding education the percentage of funding from state, local and federal sources will change.

 

In 2017, under the old formula, 72% of our funding came from the state, 7% from federal sources and 21% from the local M&O Levy.

 

In 2019, the first year of the Educational Programs & Operations Levy, the state percentage will increase to 79%, federal monies will remain at 7%, and the local, voter supported, EP&O Levy will be 14%.

 

What is State Levy Equalization Assistance (LEA)?


LEA is a state taxpayer equity program. The total value of all taxable property within the school district is called its “assessed value.” The lower the overall assessed property in a school district, the higher the property tax rate. Levy equalization is an adjustment made by the state to level the playing field across the state and reduce the greater tax burden on property owners within school districts that have a lower average assessed valuation than the statewide average – the situation here in Riverside.

 

Does Riverside SD benefit from Levy Equalization Assistance funding?

Yes. The school district receives this state funding because it is considered a “property poor” district – a district with a higher tax rate due to low assessed property values. In other words, the tax rate required in Riverside to generate local levy dollars per student is higher than the statewide average tax rate needed to generate the same revenue.

 

Is LEA funding also dependent on passage of the ballot measure?

Yes. LEA is sometimes described as a matching process because it depends upon passage of the local levy and continued funding by the state legislature.

 

Is the 2018 ballot request the same dollar amount as the measure approved in 2015?

No. The dollar amount is less.  Based on the  state’s increase in  basic education funding the  amount that can be collected from local levies is less. For example, the dollar amount approved by voters in 2015 for the last year of the three-year levy in 2018 is $2.91 million and the February 13 ballot measure asks voters to approve tax collections in 2019, 2020, and 2021 of $1,664,500, $1,864,200, and $2,087,900, respectively.

 

Is the ballot proposition asking me to consider the “estimated” tax rate or the stated dollar amount of $1,664,500, $1,864,200, and $2,087,900 per respective year?

Maximum dollar amounts for collection in calendar years 2019, 2020, and 2021. The “estimated” tax rate is provided for voter information only and is based on an assumption of assessed property values within the school district. Tax rates fluctuate as assessed property values (determined by the Spokane County and Pend Oreille County Assessors) change.

 

New state law limits tax rates to $1.50 per 1,000 of property assessed value.

 

Will the Replacement Levy increase my taxes?

No.

 

What is a tax rollback?

The levy request is a maximum and not necessarily what property owners will actually pay. A levy rollback occurs when the school district collects less than what voters have approved. For example, if the school district is not allowed to collect the full $1,664,500 in calendar year 2019, the difference between the amount allowed and the amount approved by voters ($1,664,500) is called a rollback. The district will NOT collect the rollback amount.


FAQs - Levy #2

about 1 year ago

What does the Levy for Security, Facilities, and Technology pay for?


This levy pays for much needed improvements for four years (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) in the areas of security, facilities, and technology.

Security

➔     Automatic door locks at all schools

➔     Cameras at all schools

 

Facilities

➔     Implement much-needed roofing replacement schedule

➔     Improve shop spaces for Career and Technical Education courses and programs

 

Technology

➔     Each student will have access to a laptop

➔     Teachers and staff will be provided with updated classroom technology and training

How much does this Levy cost?


Estimated Levy Rate/$1,000

Collection Year                   Assessed Value                                Levy Amount

2019                                       $0.80                                      $811,000

2020                                       $0.80                                      $827,000

2021                                       $0.80                                      $844,000

2022                                       $0.80                                      $861,000

 

If both levies receive voter approval, then what will the combined tax rate be?

With the new way Washington State is funding education if BOTH levies are approved the amount people pay in school taxes will actually go down. Combined levy tax rates for the next four years will be:

 

-$3.14 is the current rate in 2017

-$2.99 in 2018

-$2.30 in 2019-2021 ($1.50 levy + $.80 levy #2) - DECREASE of $.84 from current rate and - $.69 from the next calendar year

How do our proposed levy tax rates compare to historical levy tax rates in Riverside?

Historical Tax Rates in Riverside

Year

Bond

Capital Project Levy

Technology Levy

Transportation Levy

M&O Levy

TOTAL

1996

$2.77

-

-

-

$2.77

$5.55

1997

$2.78

-

-

-

$3.90

$6.68

1998

$2.45

-

-

-

$3.70

$6.15

1999

$2.65

-

-

-

$3.36

$6.01

2000

$2.59

-

-

-

$3.23

$5.81

2001

$2.44

-

-

-

$3.22

$5.66

2002

$2.32

-

-

-

$2.99

$5.31

2003

$2.19

-

-

-

$2.83

$5.01

2004

$1.80

-

-

-

$2.71

$4.51

2005

$1.59

-

-

-

$2.51

$4.10

2006

$1.37

-

-

-

$2.21

$3.58

2007

$0.33

-

-

-

$2.65

$2.98

2008

-

-

-

-

$2.44

$2.44

2009

-

-

-

-

$2.30

$2.30

2010

-

-

-

-

$2.71

$2.71

2011

-

-

-

-

$2.94

$2.94

2012

-

-

-

-

$3.09

$3.09

2013

-

-

-

-

$3.54

$3.54

2014

-

-

-

-

$3.53

$3.53

2015

-

-

-

-

$3.51

$3.51

2016

-

-

-

-

$3.35

$3.35

2017

-

-

-

-

$3.14

$3.14

2018

-

-

-

-

$2.99

$2.99

2019

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

2020

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

2021

-

$.80

-

-

$1.50

$2.30

 

How do our local levy tax rates compare with neighboring school districts?

With the new way Washington State is funding public schools the M&O Levy will be replaced for all school districts with a local Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O). The Riverside EP&O Levy rate will be $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is the same rate that all school districts in the Spokane area will be asking voters to consider. The state legislature wants to level the playing field so that no matter where you live in Washington the local, voter approved, levy rate will be the same.

 

For the Riverside School District the current levy tax rate is $3.14, which makes our property taxes the 2nd lowest of all school districts in the region. Newport is the only school district with lower tax rates. 

 

Levy tax rates are proposed to drop in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to $2.30 total, which includes the EP&O levy rate of $1.50, as well as the $.80 rate for the Levy for Security, Facilities, and Technology Improvements.

 

Is the ballot proposition asking me to consider the “estimated” tax rate or the stated dollar amount of $811,000, $827,000, $844,000, and $861,000 per respective year?

The ballot measure is asking you to consider the maximum dollar amounts for collection in calendar years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. The “estimated” tax rate is provided for voter information only and is based on an assumption of assessed property values within the school district. Tax rates fluctuate as assessed property values (determined by the Spokane County and Pend Oreille County Assessors) change.

 

Will the Levy for Security, Facilities, and Technology Improvements increase my taxes?

No.

 

What is a tax rollback?

The levy request is a maximum and not necessarily what property owners will actually pay. A levy rollback occurs when the school district collects less than what voters have approved. For example, if the school district is not allowed to collect the full $811,000 in calendar year 2019, the difference between the amount allowed and the amount approved by voters ($811,000) is called a rollback. The district will NOT collect the rollback amount.

 

When will work begin on the proposed security, facilities, and technology projects?

Once the Levy receives voter approval the design process will begin immediately on the projects. The District is excited and anxious to implement the proposed upgrades and will start all projects as soon as possible.