Just the Facts!
When: 11 February, 2020
Why: To provide full educational funding for the students of Raymond Schools.
How Much: $632,000 in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Anticipated Mill Rate: $2.37 per thousand dollars assessed value.
Levy Equalization Funds from the State: Approximately $500,000 per year (available only if levy passes).
Exemptions: Some seniors and those with disabilities may be entitled to exemptions or reductions. For details, please call the county assessor at 875-9301.
Questions? Call us at 360-942-3415, Option 4.
A Few More Details
The current levy, which Raymond residents now pay for, will expire on 31 December, 2020. We are proposing this replacement levy, to be collected in 2021 through 2024. This levy is not a new tax but a replacement tax for the expiring levy. Below are a few common questions and answers concerning this replacement levy.
What is a levy?
A school levy is a short-term, locally-decided financial obligation designed to supplement the basic education revenue received from the state.
How much would this levy cost me?
Currently, an owner of property valued at $100,000 is paying $250 per year for the district’s operations levy. Should the proposed levy pass, it is estimated that that amount would be $237.
Why do schools run levies?
The state funds what it determines is “basic education.” If there is a difference between what the state funds and what the community expects, this difference is paid for by the residents of the district. More than 90% of the school districts in the State of Washington receive levy funds. The remainder either failed to pass their levy or did not attempt to pass a levy.
What is levy equalization?
In order to help areas that have lower property values, the state provides “Levy Equalization Assistance” when a levy is passed. These funds are not available if the levy does not pass. We anticipate about $500,000 in matching funds for each year of this levy. Together, levy equalization and levy funds equal approximately 11% of our state funding.
What do levies pay for in our schools?
Levies are often referred to as “Operations Levies”, because they fund those items required to operate the schools at the level desired by the community. Historically, Raymond schools have used the levy dollars as indicated below:
- Extracurricular (22%)
- Health/Nutrition (14%)
- Maintenance/Supplies (14%)
- Support Staff (18%)
- Vocational/Extended Learning (32%)
How does the proposed levy compare to the previous levy?
This levy has been designed as a replacement levy; the levy rate is lower than requested in the previous levy. The district is seeking funds to continue current programs for four more years and do not anticipate adding services.
Why do we need a levy? Our buildings are in good shape.
The district appreciates the sacrifice represented by the beautiful facilities provided by the community. Levy dollars focus not on the facility but on what happens in the facility. Levy dollars allow us to continue the programs that help students be successful and have resulted in both the elementary and high school being recognized by the state for achievement in various areas.
What would change if the schools were required to operate without a levy?
Just as you would do if your monthly paycheck were reduced by 11%, we would attempt to reduce our expenses. We would operate those programs that the state and Federal governments pay for and try to minimize the effect of the necessary cuts for the most children possible. Reductions might be made in such areas as the following:
- Sports (Elimination of some programs and perhaps going to a pay-to-play system.)
- Individualized help for children (Decreasing student/adult ratios.)
- Pre-school (Raising the rates and/or eliminating openings for non-special education students.)
- Transportation (Consolidating some routes, resulting in being on the bus longer each day. Possible elimination of stops within one mile of the school.)
- Courses (Elimination of vocational and courses not required by the state, such as music and art.)
What has been the history of levies in the Raymond School District?
Since levies became a part of the state education funding mechanism, the people of Raymond have never failed to fund the requested amount.