Bonds to pay for new schools, libraries move to November ballot

Bonds to pay for new schools, libraries move to November ballot

Wednesday night’s joint meeting between the Spokane Public School Board and the Spokane City Council resulted in two bonds being approved for the November 2018 ballot.

New Schools:

The school board will ask voters for $495.3 million to fund the construction of three new middle schools, safety and technology improvements for schools across the district, and updates to several existing facilities. The three new middle schools would be located in northwest, northeast, and south Spokane.

Spokane Public Schools says the new schools are necessary to address overcrowding in the district and decrease class sizes.

New Libraries:

The City of Spokane is asking voters for $77 million to pay for additions and improvements to the public library system. The money would fund three new libraries–one in Hillyard, East Central, and what the city calls ‘Sprague.’ The rest of the funds would be used to modernize the Shadle, Downtown, South Hill, and Indian Trail libraries.

You can see the full proposal presentation, which explains both bonds in detail, here.

Taxpayer Impact:

So, how will these bonds affect you?

The City says that taxes are set to go down $2.20 per thousand dollars of home value in 2020, because the state has agreed to take on more funding for public education.

Considering the average home in Spokane is worth about $200,000 according to Zillow, the savings for the average homeowner would equal roughly $450 per year.

If both bonds pass in November, the city’s presentation says the average taxpayer would pay $0.98 per thousand dollars of assessed value, or about $200 per year on average.

Therefore, the city says taxpayers would still be paying less than they are now.