Is it that time again? That is the response given most often by community members when they see school Superintendent Mark Heid attending meetings of local community groups and clubs. The answer is “yes”! It has been the practice of the Goldendale School District to run a levy every other year. In an attempt to save money from the cost of running elections and supply stability of finances for the district and community, the school district is bringing a 4-year levy to the voters.
Our community has been very supportive of our levies in the past and we hope that a new 4-year plan will get the same support. The wind machines have brought in a surge of dollars in the past few years that have allowed the district to maintain their financing at a lower cost to the public. The time has come now where the wind machines have begun to depreciate at a rate of 4%-8% per year, causing the 2013 levy rate of $1.98 per thousand, to increase to $2.08 for the upcoming 2014 year.
From 2007-2012, the proposed levy rate passed by our community had been at the $2.49 per thousand. The proposal that is being shared now remains below that amount until the last year of the levy (2018) where it is a rate of $2.51 per thousand. In working closely with our county Assessor, the figures that we are using are very conservative and are worst case scenario. Wind machine depreciation can be from 4%-8% annually and we have used 8% in our proposal. Improvements that are made to the wind machines will go back to the top of the depreciation model. The impact of wind machine depreciation is fairly new to the district. We cannot know if future improvements are planned to the wind machines so this cannot be factored into our levy proposal. If improvements are made, this would reduce the costs of our levy.
This 4-year levy proposal is as follows:
2015 $2,509.797 @ $2.15/$1,000
2016 $2,585,091 @ $2.27/$1,000
2017 $2,662,644 @ $2.39/$1,000
2018 $2,742,523 @ $2.51/$1,000