Renewal Levy Goes to Voters in April, and Possibly a Bond to Modernize WHS in November

On April 25, 2017, the voters within the Wenatchee School District will be asked to vote on a Renewal Educational Programs and Operation Levy, also known as a Maintenance & Operation (M&O) Levy. The 4-year levy renews a levy approved by voters in 2013 and due to expire in 2017. 

The renewal levy supports about 12.6% of the District’s budget and will maintain the District’s current level of educational programs and operation. Levies make up the difference between funding from the state and federal government and the actual cost of operating a school district. 

School districts take both Levies and Bonds to voters. What’s the difference between a Levy and a Bond? Levies are for Learning. Bonds are for Building.

Levies pay for teaching materials, equipment supplies and technology. Wenatchee’s Levy funds are collected over a four-year time period and must be renewed (similar to a magazine subscription). A Renewal Levy asks voters to replace an existing levy that is scheduled to expire.

Bond funds are used for construction or renovation of buildings, major repairs, and land purchases; they cannot be used for basic education. Bond funds are generally collected over a 15 to 20-year period (similar to a home mortgage). Wenatchee School District will be presenting a construction bond to voters in November 2017 for the modernization of Wenatchee High School and HVAC replacement for Foothills Middle School.

The levy pays for program support, equipment, supplies, and technology:

  • Lower class sizes
  • Instructional assistants and support
  • Additional class offerings, such as online learning
  • Music, athletics and other extra-curricular programs
  • Elementary art specialists
  • K-12 counselors
  • Student Enrichment program
  • AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) college readiness system
  • Technology hardware, software, training and operations support
  • Classroom textbooks
  • School materials and supplies
  • District operational costs
  • Utilities
  • Transportation services
  • Capital equipment and replacement
  • Safety and Security services

Send in your Ballot on or before April 25, 2017 

This levy replaces the retiring levy and every vote counts!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a replacement M&O Levy?

A. A local property tax authorized by voters to fund basic educational programs and operations to replace a levy that is scheduled to expire. The Washington Constitution limits educational programs and operation levies to a period not to exceed 4 years. School districts must then submit a new levy request to the voters. The District’s proposed 4-year educational programs and operation levy will replace the prior levy approved by the voters in 2013 and due to expire in 2017.

Q. Why is an M&O levy necessary? 

A. The State does not fully fund the District’s basic education programs. The District’s proposed educational programs and operation levy makes up the shortfall.

Q. What levy taxes are being proposed for the next four years?

A. The new levy request in 2018 is for approximately $2.96 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The levy collection increases 3% each year to account for cost of living adjustments. See the following table:

Collection Years Total Levy Collection
2018 $12,527,890
2019 $12,903,727
2020 $13,290,839
2021 $13,689,564

 


Q. How does Wenatchee School District’s proposed educational programs and operation levy rate compare to the District’s prior levy rates?

A. See the following table for a history of levy rates per $1,000 of assessed value.

Collection Years

Levy Rates / $1,000

Tax Impact / Per Year

2013

$3.10

$775

2014

$3.29

$823

2015

$3.17

$793

2016

$3.05

$763

2017

$2.96

$740

Projected ⇣

Projected⇣

Projected ⇣

2018

$2.96

$740

2019

$2.96

$740

2020

$2.96

$740

2021

$2.96

$740


Q. Is there a special tax exemption for senior or disabled citizens?

A. If you are at least 61 years old on December 31 of the application year with an annual household disposable income of $35,000 or less, or unable to work because of a disability, or a veteran with a total disability rating for a service connected disability, you may be eligible for the Washington State property tax exemption program (dor.wa.gov). For information about your status, contact the office of the Chelan County Assessor at (509) 667-6365.

Q. What are the voter-approval requirements for the District’s proposed educational programs and operation levy?

A. Under State law, at least 40% of the number of voters in the immediate past general election must vote and of that amount, at least 50% plus 1 of the votes cast must be “yes.”

Q. How will the ballot proposition describe the District’s proposed educational programs and operation levy?

A. PROPOSITION 1
WENATCHEE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 246
RENEWAL OF EXPIRING EDUCATIONAL
PROGRAMS AND OPERATION LEVY

The Board of Directors of Wenatchee School District No. 246 adopted Resolution No. 02-17, concerning a proposition for a renewal levy for education. This proposition would authorize the District to levy the following excess taxes, in place of an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District, for support of the District’s General Fund educational programs and operation expenses:

Collection Years

Approximate Levy Rate per $1,000 Assessed Value

Levy Amount

2018

$2.96

$12,527,890

2019

$2.96

$12,903,727

2020

$2.96

$13,290,839

2021

$2.96

$13,689,564

As provided in Resolution No. 02-17 should this proposition be approved?

LEVY YES

LEVY NO


Q. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

A. You may contact: 

Brian Flones, Superintendent or 

Les Vandervort, Chief Financial Officer


WENATCHEE LEARNS

Strategy Four:   Balance change for all with excellence for all

Key Objective: Sound fiscal and resource management