King County reports strong participation in April 17 election

April 13, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. April 13, 2012

King County Elections officials said more than 54,000 voters returned ballots for the April 17 special election by Thursday — more than the average at the same point  for special elections.

The elections office mailed 236,000 ballots to voters in the districts participating in special elections. Officials expect a 34 percent return rate, or about 80,000 ballots for the half-dozen government entities participating in the special election.

In the Issaquah School District, the electorate faces a choice on a $219 million school construction bond in the election. (The school district stretches from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.)

In order to pass, the measure needs to receive a 60 percent yes vote from a minimum turnout of 12,229 voters.

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King County mails property tax notices to homeowners soon

February 10, 2011

UPDATED — 9 a.m. Feb. 14, 2011

Most Issaquah homeowners should pay about 29 cents more per $1,000 in assessed value on the property tax bills starting to arrive in mailboxes across King County.

Issaquah and county residents started to receive property tax bills in the mail Monday. The county Assessor’s Office released a property tax breakdown late last week.

Issaquah homeowners pay, on average, $11.13 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed value. The total amounted to $10.84 last year.

Dollars collected through property taxes help fund the Issaquah School District, King County, and numerous state and regional districts.

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Issaquah School District buses to add $40,000 worth of GPS units

December 28, 2010

The Issaquah School District paid for 161 GPS units for its bus fleet, using $40,000 from its capital levy passed by voters in February. By Laura Geggel

Starting in January, Issaquah School District transportation shop mechanics will install 161 GPS units in the district’s bus fleet, a venture costing $40,000 to install and $40,000 annually in upkeep.

The GPS units are financed by the February 2010 capital projects levy that voters passed with 65 percent of the vote. Over the four-year lifetime of the $38.5 million levy, the GPS units and system will cost a total of $200,000.

The GPS units will help transportation shop mechanics coordinate with bus drivers whose buses are having mechanical problems and with parents who have questions about a bus’ location, district Director of Transportation Jo Porter said. Read more

School district prepares to pass annual budget

August 17, 2010

Issaquah School District budgeted revenue

The Issaquah School District is one step away from approving its 2010-11 school year budget. If passed, the budget would absorb large state cuts, but make up for them temporarily by raising the levy lid.

The budget would also maintain last year’s class sizes, increase the district’s reserve fund and allow the district to continue to operate with a low overhead.

The Issaquah School Board heard the first of two readings of this year’s budget as district Chief of Finance and Operations Jake Kuper familiarized them with its ins and outs at the Aug. 11 board meeting.

The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its Aug. 25 meeting.

Although the district has lost a large amount of state funding — $10.4 million since 2009 — the district’s financial department has found a way to work around the losses; not one teacher was laid off because of budget cuts, and the district has hired 77 new teachers, 47 of which are new due to enrollment or program increases.

The state cuts show no signs of stopping. In the 2010-11 budget, the district was forced to take a $3.1 million cut in state support, Kuper said. Read more

State budget: School officials breathe sigh of relief

April 20, 2010

Issaquah School District officials announced that with the state’s supplemental budget they will be able to maintain programs and class sizes at existing levels and will not have to lay off teachers this year.

State legislators approved the state’s supplemental budget late April 12 and adjourned for the year.

The compromise took nearly the full 30-day special session to orchestrate, but will raise just less than $800 million in funding over the next year.

The funding will come from additional taxes on cigarettes, beer and soda. Lawmakers also extended a sales tax to bottled water, candy and gum. Other tax initiatives include ensuring that out-of-state companies pay Washington taxes.

The budget cuts about $755 million, including about $120 million in kindergarten through 12th-grade education. In the 2009-11 budget, the original apportionment for kindergarten-through 12th-grade education was $13.56 billion. With the reductions, its 2009-11 allocation is about $13.44 billion during the biennium, according to information provided by the Washington State School Directors Association. Read more

District officials breathe sigh of relief as Legislature approves budget

April 15, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 15, 2010

Issaquah School District officials announced that with the state’s supplemental budget they will be able to maintain programs and class sizes at existing levels and will not have to lay off teachers this year.

State legislators approved the state’s supplemental budget late Monday night and adjourned for the year.

The compromise took nearly the full 30-day special session to orchestrate, but will raise just less than $800 million in funding over the next year.

The funding will come from additional taxes on cigarettes, beer and soda. Lawmakers also extended a sales tax to bottled water, candy and gum. Other tax initiatives include ensuring that out-of-state companies pay Washington taxes.

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Issaquah School District levy vote attracted 40 percent turnout

March 2, 2010

The election to determine the financial future of the Issaquah School District attracted more than 22,000 voters, final King County Elections results released last week show. Read more

Issaquah School District levy vote attracted 40 percent turnout

February 24, 2010

NEW — 5:20 p.m. Feb. 24, 2010

The election to determine the financial future of the Issaquah School District attracted more than 22,000 voters, final King County Elections results released Wednesday show.

Turnout reached 40 percent — or 22,629 ballots cast — as voters approved three levies meant to supplement district coffers with more than $214 million by 2014. The levy package included $172.5 million for maintenance and operations, $1.7 million for transportation and $38.4 million for technology and critical repairs.

Taxpayers will pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

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State Legislature works on school levy lid changes

February 23, 2010

The Legislature is working on two bills that could either raise or lower local levy lids, changing the amount a school district could tax voters. Read more

School, library levies lead in election results

February 16, 2010

Dr. Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, shares a high-five with Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications, the moment after election night returns are posted showing a wide margin of passage for three levy issues. By Greg Farrar

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Feb. 9.

The celebration continued Feb. 12 with the results released at 3:25 p.m. showing district ballot measures leading with 65 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 64 percent for a transportation levy and 65 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

Once the election is certified, taxpayers will pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered on election night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m. Feb. 9, sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

The levy measures will supplement the district budget with more than $214 million by 2014. Read more

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