Educational Programs & Operations Renewal Levy 2021
Maintain Educational Gain
On August 3, 2021, voters will be asked to renew the current Moses Lake School District three-year Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy that was approved by voters in 2018 and due to expire in 2021. The levy renewal maintains our school programs to continue to provide educational and extracurricular services for our learning community.
WHAT DOES A LEVY FUND?
Levies provide essential services and support for student programs and day-to-day operations that the state only partially funds including athletics, technology, extracurricular programs and support staff. For our district, we renew our levies every three years. This levy is primarily for costs related to supporting essential programs, essential personnel, technology, safety, and our ability to offer elective/specialist classes, field trips, and extracurricular programs such as art, drama, music, and sports.
Bonds allow districts to collect money upfront for major construction projects. The Moses Lake School District is not running a bond for the modernization or building of facilities at this time.
Athletics & Programs
Enrichment and extracurricular programs, arts, music, clubs
Equipment & Supplies
Textbooks, technology, curriculum materials, transportation, and operational expenses
Nurses, counselors, librarians, substitutes, behavior specialists, resources officers
WHAT WILL THE PROPOSED RENEWAL LEVY COST?
If approved, the three-year $7-$8.1 million renewal levy will continue the current $1.50 rate per $1000 assessed property value that was previously approved by taxpayers.
The levy amount increases 5-8% each year to account for property value increases, but the rate is projected to state the same at $1.50:
LEVY RATE PER $1,000 ASSESSED VALUE
The proposed renewal levy is not a new tax, rather, a renewal/replacement of the current expiring tax.
WHY DO WE NEED A LEVY?
School districts rely on voter-approved funding measures to cover costs not funded by the state to provide students with a well-rounded education. The renewal levy supports about 5% of the District’s budget and allows us to continue to provide essential services for students. If this levy is approved, voters would not be asked to approve another levy until 2024.
What is the difference between a LEVY and a BOND?
A bond provides funding for capital projects such as purchasing property for schools, constructing new schools, or modernizing existing schools. Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest over time from property tax collections, generally between 10-25 years. Bonds require a super-majority to pass (60%).
A levy is a short-term, local property tax passed by the voters of a school district that generates revenue for the district to fund programs and services that the state does not fund or fully fund as part of “basic education.” Levies require a simple majority to pass (50% + 1). A replacement levy is the renewal of an existing levy that is about to expire- or simply the continuation of an existing tax.
Why is the proposed levy described as a "renewal levy"?
The Washington Constitution limits EP&O levies to a period not to exceed 4 years. Moses Lake's levy funds are collected over a three-year time period and must be renewed (similar to a magazine subscription). A Renewal Levy or Replacement Levy asks voters to replace an existing levy that is scheduled to expire.
The District’s proposed 3-year EP&O levy will replace the prior levy approved by the voters in 2018 and set to expire in 2021.
What is a levy rate?
If approved, the three-year $7–$8.1 million levy will continue the $1.50 rate per $1,000 assessed property value that was previously approved by taxpayers. The levy amount increases 3% each year to account for property value increases but the rate is projected to stay the same at $1.50.
See the following table:
LEVY RATE PER $1,000 ASSESSED VALUE
"But we still don't have a new high school?"
Not all students were learning on campus this past year – so why do we need the levy?
What happens if the levy fails?
If the levy fails, our students will not receive the level of education and extracurricular opportunities that are available to them today. The schools will lose a portion of their annual budget and be forced to make cuts across basic programs, including athletics. Historically, our community has been very supportive of our schools and our levies. If the voters do not approve to renew the 3-year educational programs and operations levy the District will need to;
- Try to re-run the levy again, November 2, 2021
- Reduce levy staffing, supplies, and programs
How many votes are necessary to pass the renewal levy?
When/How do I vote?
Important Dates for Aug. 3 Primary Election
- June 19: Military and overseas ballots mailed.
- July 16: Voting period begins.
- August 3: Online and mail registrations, and ballots due.