The levy is not a new tax, and if approved, will replace the levy that expires at the end of 2021. The local levy will allow the district to maintain educational programs and critical day-to-day school operations such as student technology, additional school staff beyond what the state provides, and building maintenance.
The local levy rate is projected to be $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed value in all four years of the replacement levy. That is $0.33 per $1,000 lower than the levy rate in 2021.
Battle Ground Public Schools already has the lowest school tax rate of any district in Clark County. The replacement levy would reduce the rate even further, saving the owner of a home worth $450,000 an estimated $123 on their property tax bill in 2022, and even if their home increases in value, would continue to pay less in all four years of the replacement levy when compared to 2021.
Key points of the district’s replacement levy are:
Replacement levy will decrease local school taxes by about 33 cents per $1,000 for all four years of the levy
Battle Ground Public Schools has the lowest property tax rate of all K-12 districts in Clark County
The levy will allow the district to maintain critical student programs and activities and maintain facilities
The levy will be for four years, 2022–2025
The local levy provides 14 percent of the district's budget, funding 260 positions supporting student learning and lowering class sizes.
Battle Ground’s levy also pays for basic services that are key to providing a quality education and getting students the help they need both socially and academically. The levy enables the district to provide technology that has helped students learn remotely during the health crisis, as well as learning experiences such as electives and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Battle Ground’s levy covers 25 percent of school and district support staff, teachers, and administrators over what the state funds.
Levy dollars also pay for high school and upcoming middle school sports, health services, music and art classes, drug prevention education, instructional technology, security, education for students with special needs, utilities, and insurance. The levy also funds textbooks and curricula, professional development, transportation, and building maintenance.
This levy will help Battle Ground maintain the funding for essential student programs and services. Local support is critical to providing a variety of programs that appeal to a wide range of students, to supporting special needs students, and to maintaining facilities. The state does not cover or fully cover many of these critical components of education.
Should the levy not pass on Nov. 2, the district would face a $28 million budget shortfall in 2022-23, requiring cuts to staffing, services and programs.
BGPS has the lowest property tax rate of all K-12 districts in Clark County
While other districts rely on multiple levies to fund technology, transportation, capital projects and educational programs, Battle Ground funds all these elements out of a single levy. Across Washington, nearly all of the 295 districts rely on levy money to provide important student programs and services.
The levy funds, which will provide approximately $26,750,000 in 2022, $28,200,000 in 2023, $29,650,000 in 2024, and $31,100,000 in 2025 (based on the predicted increase of assessed property values), bridge the gap between the basic education funding provided by the state and the current operating budget of the district. In addition, If voters approve the levy, the Battle Ground district will be eligible to receive about $2 million in levy equalization funds from the state over the four-year period. The tax rate for the replacement levy will be lower than the current rate.
Levy information is available on the district’s website and social media outlets, and through public presentations. In addition, questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or called into (360) 885-5470.
The election will be November 2, 2021 with ballots mailed out on October 15. Clark County voter registration information is online at https://clark.wa.gov/elections/registering-vote. Residents have until Oct. 25 to register to vote or update their existing registration online, and can register in person up until 8 p.m. on election day in person at the Clark County Elections office.
NOTE: Some senior and disabled homeowners may be eligible for property tax relief, based on income. Please call the Clark County Assessor's Office at (360) 397-2391 for details.
District administrators and board members are available to answer questions and share additional details about the levy proposal. For more information, please email email@example.com or call the district office at (360) 885-5300.