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.
It is estimated that property owners in the district will see a decrease in their local schools tax rate of 55 cents in 2022 compared to this year’s 2020 rate. The local levy rate is projected to be $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2022.
The board has diligently contributed to the district’s reserve fund over the last several years in case a need might arise. Seeing that the pandemic has had economic implications for many families in the community, the directors decided that providing relief to the Battle Ground schools community during the pandemic would be a good use of some of the reserve funds.
Key points of the district’s replacement levy are:
Replacement levy will decrease taxes by about 39 cents per $1,000 the first year (2022) to $1.95 per $1,000.
The district plans to dip into its rainy day reserve fund and drop the tax rate as low as it can the first year
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
After the first year, the replacement levy rate will go to a projected rate of $2.20 per $1,000, but will still be less than the current levy rate by about 14 cents per $1,000. The replacement levy is for four years and will provide about 14 percent of the district’s total operating budget.
Battle Ground’s levy 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 keep class sizes small, supply technology that has helped students learn remotely during the health crisis, and provide for 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, staff positions and salaries and 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.
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 $24.9 million in 2022, $29.2 million in 2023, $30.4 million in 2024, and $31.6 million 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 will be 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 February 9, 2021 with ballots available January 22. Clark County voter registration information is online at https://clark.wa.gov/elections/registering-vote. Residents have until Feb. 1 to register to vote or update their existing registration online, and can register in person up until election day.
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.