New State Funding Formula (old)
Voters in the Riverside School District approved two ballot measures in February 2018 - the renewal of our local Educational Programs and Operations Levy and a Levy for Security, Facilities, and Technology Improvements. With the new way Washington State funds education, Riverside community members will actually pay less in school taxes than they paid previously. Let me explain how that is possible.
In June of 2017 the Washington State Legislature, responding to a directive from the State Supreme Court, restructured how public education is funded. For years the state provided Riverside School District with approximately 70% of its budget and the Riverside community, by approving school levies, has covered 21% . Beginning in 2018 (transition year) and continuing into 2019 (the first collection year of our proposed levies) the percentages change. In 2019 the state will provide 80%, and our local Educational Programs and Operations Levy will cover 14%. Federal funds provide the remaining 6%.
To help generate the revenue needed to expand funds provided by the state, the legislature approved an increase in the state school property tax. Riverside property owners currently pay a state school tax of $2.00 per $1000 of assessed value. That is projected to increase to $2.82. To offset the increase, beginning in 2019, the legislature reduced the amount all school districts can ask local voters to approve via levies to $1.50. The levy Riverside voters approved in 2015 for collection in 2016, 2017, and 2018 had a rate of $3.14. The proposed renewal rate of the Educational Programs & Operations Levy for 2019, 2020, and 2021 is $1.50...a reduction of $1.64.
The following table shows the previous and approved (2019) school tax rates (local and state levies). The new levy rate of $1.50 and the second levy rate of $.80 will start in the 2019 calendar year.
I want to thank our Riverside community for its support of our schools. We have so many strengths, and I feel good about the positive momentum we are gaining as a district. Let us continue to work together to develop an even brighter future for our students, families, and community.