Replacement of Expiring Levy for Educational Programs and Operations FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is this levy special to the Enumclaw School District?
No.  All 295 school districts across our state have the authority to request local funding from their residents.


What is the history regarding this type of levy?
For decades, each school district in our state has needed to request money for schools from local levies, which typically occurred every two years. Because of the expense of elections to school districts (we have to use taxpayer money in order to put an item on the ballot), the state has allowed school districts to extend the time period to four years.  It is our goal to stay on the same election cycle as many of our neighboring school districts.  The last passage of our four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy was in February 2014 with a replacement ballot measure coming in February 2018.  

When the state legislature finalized their work on July 20, 2017, they had made some significant changes for how school districts must collect local money from a levy.


Has there been a name change?
In the past, the Enumclaw School District has called this levy “Maintenance and Operations Levy.”  As a result of state legislative action these levies have been renamed.  The title of the levy and form of the ballot must be approved by the Prosecutor’s Office in each county in the state.  We believe the title for our levy will be "Replacement of Expiring Levy for Educational Programs and Operations".  This title and the ballot form are currently at the Prosecutor’s Office for review.


What is the tax rate?
The legislature has established guidelines for districts, lowering the local school tax burden and shifting that burden to the state.  The base guideline is districts may collect the lesser of either $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value or $2,500 per student (with inflationary increases in future years).  For our school district the applicable formula is $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The $1.50 per $1,000 is a significantly lower tax rate than the one we passed in 2014 which was on the ballot for $3.89 per $1,000 of property value.  


How will the school district function at this lower local funding level?
The legislature has used other funding mechanisms at the state level (including raising state property taxes decided by their vote) to make up the difference.  When the numbers are finalized we are hoping that the state will provide us with the additional funding we need.  The intent of the McCleary lawsuit (http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/HotTopics/HotTopic-McCleary.pdf) was to increase funding for public education.  Because of the complexity of these changes, we are still in the process of receiving information about funding levels from our local Puget Sound Educational Service District and OSPI.


How is the levy used?
Levy funds ensure our District’s quality education programs continue in safe, well maintained and clean schools.  Levy dollars provide for support beyond the state allocation for basic education including but not limited to: safety & security, early learning, special education, special programs, transportation, athletics & activities and staff training.


What is the official ballot language?
The official ballot language and Resolution #1068 were approved on November 20, 2017.

The resolution is attached.

When is the election?
Election Day is February 13, 2018.

Voting information from King County Elections website:

“You can vote and return your ballot as soon as you receive it. Returning your ballot early allows time to correct any issues with your signature so we can count your ballot. You can return your ballot by mail or to a ballot drop box.

Ballot drop boxes
Return your ballot to a ballot drop box, no stamp required. Your ballot must be returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. election day. Plan ahead to avoid lines.

By mail
Put a first-class stamp on your ballot and mail it back to us. Your ballot must be postmarked by election day. Don’t wait until the last minute!”


When will ballots be mailed?
We expect that ballots will be mailed January 24, 2018.
(http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/elections/election-dates.aspx).