August 20, 2013
Early school levy decision welcome
We appreciate early decision making by the Issaquah School Board in regard to its 2014 school levy and bond package.
The board approved its request that will go to voters in February on June 26, although exact numbers could vary slightly before being confirmed this fall, after state funding is considered.
With the citizen task force research done and needs identified, there was no reason to delay the school board vote. It’s always a good thing to get the facts out there early, as voters will need the seven months lead time to get their head around the numbers.
The Issaquah School District’s proposal includes a request for a $193 million maintenance and operations levy, a one-year $1.7 million transportation levy and a four-year $51.9 million capital/technology levy.
Multimillion dollar numbers can be overwhelming. While voters in the Issaquah district do generally favor supporting their schools, the real question comes down to what it costs each homeowner and whether the price is worth the added cost to each household.
The district’s total package will add about $95 per year to the property tax bill on a home valued at $500,000.
Taxpayers’ heads are already spinning with tax increases just approved for county parks, an upcoming city of Issaquah park bond on the November ballot, and the Legislature proposing higher taxes and fees primarily for transportation needs — including road maintenance and transit services.
Stepping up to support the needs of students and growing student populations is never an easy decision, but thanks to the early work of the school district, volunteers can get busy raising the necessary dollars to mount a “vote yes” campaign so ballot decisions can be made with full knowledge come February.