2018 Educational Programs & Operations Levy

Fife Public Schools is seeking voter approval on February 13, 2018 for a renewal of our four year Educational Programs and Operations Levy.

What is a levy and how is this different from a bond?

“Levies are for learning, Bonds are for Building”.

Bonds are used for new school construction, renovation of buildings, and land purchases. They’re also used for major repairs and improvements such as new roofs, heating and cooling systems, and safety improvements to our schools.

Levies are used to help pay for the day to day operations of our schools. Levies pay for programs and services that are either not funded, or fully funded by our state. This includes:

    • Special education, remediation, and English as a Second Language programs
    • Additional certificated and classified personnel
    • Professional development for teachers and instructional assistants
    • Programs to challenge students such as gifted and advanced placement
    • Textbooks and other instructional materials
    • Transportation services
    • Athletics and other extracurricular activities such as drama and music

Is this a new tax?

No. This levy replaces or ‘renews’ our current levy that expires at the end of 2018.

How often does a school district run a levy?

School districts are authorized to run levies up to 4 year terms. The currently levy was approved by voters in 2014.

What does it take to pass a levy?

Levies require a simple majority of approval by district voters to pass. This means 50% + 1 of the total votes cast.

Why does the district have to request a levy? Doesn’t the State pay for schools?

State and other funding provides approximately 79% of the resources required to operate our school district. The funds from the replacement levy allows the district to continue programs and services that are not funded or fully funded by the state.

How much is the levy?

Listed below are the collection years and annual levy amounts:

    • 2019 - $9,600,000
    • 2020 - $9,700,000
    • 2021 - $9,800,000
    • 2022 - $9,900,000

How much will the levy and the bond cost?

The increase is estimated at $9.75 per month for a home assessed at $300,000.

The information above shows the estimated 2018 tax rate compared to the estimated 2019 rate that includes the renewal levy and new bonds. The increase is estimated at .39 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

What does the increase of 39 cents per $1,000 mean?

Property taxes are estimated at ‘rate per $1,000’ of assessed value. This means in 2019, the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 is estimated to pay $1,368 per year, or $9.75 more per month for (1) the renewal educational programs & operations levy, (2) the current technology levy, and (3) the existing and new bonds.

If my property value goes up will my taxes increase as well?

Usually when property values increase, the rates go down. This is because school district levies have a fixed amount approved by voters to be collected. This amount is spread among all taxable property in the district.

What happens if the levy doesn’t pass?

Typically, following a levy failure there will be cuts to the educational programs and extracurricular activities our students experience every day. Extracurricular activities include things likes sports and arts. Levy failures can also result in an increase in class size.

Will the ballot have both the levy and the bond? Do I vote twice?

Yes! The levy is separate from the bond. They will be listed as Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.

Am I eligible for an exemption from property taxes?

Under certain conditions, people with disabilities or citizens 61 years of age or older are eligible for a tax exemption. Consideration is given to income, ownership of taxable residence and other factors. For more information and to apply for an exemption, contact your county assessor’s office, or click here: King County Pierce County