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Educational Programs & Operations Renewal Levy 2021

On November 2, 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.  Recently there has been an effort to communicate information regarding the levy and what is funded. Specifically, there has been concern that levy funds will be used to fund the implementation of Critical Race Theory and Comprehensive Sexual Education. To clarify, the district is NOT implementing or funding any Critical Race Theory training, curriculum, or implementation. The district is also NOT purchasing new sexual education materials.
 
As a district, and in our official capacity, we have a requirement to remain factual and not encourage people how to vote. From a factual perspective, we have a number of resources rooted in facts to assist with communicating to our voters, community, and citizens. This webpage gives you factual information regarding levies, levy funds, and where levy dollars are allocated in our school district.
 
WHAT IS A LEVY?
 
A levy is a local property tax passed by voters of the Moses Lake School District that generates revenue to fund programs and services that the state does not pay for as part of basic education. Levy dollars are pooled with state funds to pay for programs and services that provide opportunities beyond basic education. The levy enables the district to supply technology to students, offer a variety of electives, maintain facilities, and provide essential staff that enhance learning experiences and coach athletics and activities.
  • Districts may choose to run a levy no more than twice per calendar year. Approval to run a levy comes from the Board of Directors. Our school board has not yet discussed future levies. 
  • The Board voted to maintain the current levy of $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value– it is not a new tax, rather a renewal of the current expiring tax.
  • If the levy passes, the district receives matching funds from the state for three years. Levies require a simple majority to pass (50% +1)
 
WHAT IS A BOND?
 
A bond provides funding for capitol projects such as purchasing property for schools, constructing new schools, or modernizing existing schools. Voters approved the last bond in 2018 for a second high school, two elementary schools, and improvements at MLHS.
  • The first elementary school (Groff) has been completed with a Grand Opening on September 7, 2021. 
  • The second high school will be complete next year, to open Fall 2022.
  • The second elementary school TBD.
  • MLHS renovations also TBD.
levy vs bond
 
 
WHAT DOES A LEVY FUND?
 
The levy supports student learning for future leaders! Levy funds are allocated to:
staff
Essential Staff Nurses, counselors, librarians, substitutes, behavior specialists, resources officers, security officers, technology support, Boys & Girls Club staffing, paraeducators, bus drivers, PE teachers, IT staff


football
Athletics & Programs Musical instruments, clubs, community swimming pool use, 5th grade swimming/water safety program, library, K–8 art and music, PE programs, on-time graduation, highly capable programs, school sports and athletics


supplies
Equipment & SuppliesTextbooks, technology, 1:1 Initiative program, transportation and buses, operational expenses, safety and security programs, ongoing maintenance of facilities, Boys & Girls Club school sites (five), Boys & Girls Club transportation 



WHAT HAPPENS IF THE LEVY FAILS? 

Funding provided by the state does not fully cover the actual costs to operate a school district, levies bridge the gap in this funding and allow us to provide things like teachers, support staff, supplies and materials, or services that the state only partially funds. If the levy fails....

  • MLSD will need to make about $7 million in budget cuts from levy-supported staff and programs this year.
  • MLSD will lose state matching funds resulting in about a $15 million budget reduction from levy-supported staff and programs for the next three years.
  • Students lose opportunities for educational enrichment that contribute to their success in school and in life.
 

Examples of Funding Shortfalls:

levy shortfalls

 
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. This is not a new tax, but a continuation of the current tax rate. 
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:
COLLECTION YEAR
LEVY RATE PER $1,000 ASSESSED VALUE
LEVY AMOUNT
2021 (current) $1.50 $6,952,565
2022 $1.50 $7,093,914
2023 $1.50 $7,661,427
2024 $1.50 $8,121,113
 
$7,093,914  (levy funds)
$6,921,933 (state local effort assistance)
------------------
$14,015,847 total funding
 
The proposed renewal levy is not a new tax, rather, a renewal/replacement of the current expiring tax. View the complete levy resolution here.

 


 
FAQs

buildA 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%). 

learnA 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.

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.

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:

COLLECTION YEAR
LEVY RATE PER $1,000 ASSESSED VALUE
LEVY AMOUNT
2021 (current) $1.50 $6,952,565
2022 $1.50 $7,093,914
2023 $1.50 $7,661,427
2024 $1.50 $8,121,113
 
------
 
Simply put, Levies are for LEARNING and Bonds are for building. The levy does not fund the modernization or building of facilities, however, this levy may help fund programs, personnel, technology, or supplies for the new high school. 
 
The new high school is on track for completion Fall 2022. Learn more about the high school here.
Although not all students were on campus this year, our expenditures, utilities, operations, staffing, and programs did not stop– they just looked different than a 'normal' year. Our staff has continued to work around the clock to maintain our buildings, support remote learning, hybrid learning, and on-campus learning models, provide meals and provide other essential support services that students and families depended on.
A simple majority is required to pass the levy. 

Registration is easy! Click here to begin

Low-income senior citizens and disabled adults may qualify for tax exemptions.
Please call the Grant County Assessor’s Office at (509) 754-2011 for further information.
 
 
 
Questions? Email levy@mlsd161.org