Spokane Schools considering levy that will cost homeowners more during the pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane voters could be asked to support a replacement school levy in just a few months.

During these unprecedented times, people have lost jobs and many families are struggling. The big question is whether or not voters would approve of more taxes to support schools.

The current school levy is at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, but school board members could ask homeowners to pay as much as $2.50—the maximum amount allowed by state law.Tax Rate Comparison

Spokane voters have approved every school levy since 1990. The most recent one, approved in 2018, expires this February. That’s when voters will be asked to approve the replacement levy to support Spokane Public Schools.

School board members are considering raising the current levy to $2.50.

In doing that, the district is also looking at the option of lowering a debt service levy, which are used to pay off voter-approved bonds.

With property values rising, the district may not need to collect as much money to pay them off.

It’s hard to say exactly how much more or less voters would pay; it all depends on how much your home’s assessed value goes up.Tax Rate ScenarioSo, let’s look at a snap shot and assume your family’s home is valued at $300,000 dollars in the eyes of the County Auditor. In this instance, your school tax rate is $7.02 per $1000 of assessed value—you’d pay just over $2,100 dollars.

Assuming the district goes with Option 1, you would pay an extra $291. In Option 2, the debt service levy is reduced; you would owe an extra $177. In Option 3, it’s $144.

Once board members agree on a levy amount, the proposal has to be approved by the state superintendent. If that happens, the district has until December 11th to get their resolution to the County Auditor for it to be included on the February ballot.

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