Chimacum talks about replacement levy to fund schools

Posted 6/27/20

Officials with the Chimacum School District are making plans for a 2021 Special Election to renew the district’s maintenance and operation levy.

The property tax levy — which pays for …

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Chimacum talks about replacement levy to fund schools

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Officials with the Chimacum School District are making plans for a 2021 Special Election to renew the district’s maintenance and operation levy.

The property tax levy — which pays for educational programs and operations not covered by the state’s basic education funding — is not a new tax.

The existing M&O levy (which will be called an “educational programs and operations levy,” or EPO) was passed by voters in 2017 and runs for four years

The 2017 M&O levy was approved by voters with a 62 percent “yes” vote. The district also passed a six-year capital projects and technology levy in 2018, but use of that revenue is restricted and can’t be used to supplement teacher salaries or pay for other operations.

The Chimacum School Board, at its meeting last week, continued to review the steps the district needs to make to place the levy before voters for the Feb. 8, 2021 election.

Superintendent Rick Thompson has told the board he does not expect other East Jefferson County school district measures to be on the ballot next February.

The EPO levy needs a 50 percent vote, plus one, to pass.

A resolution from the school board is needed to get the EPO levy proposal on the ballot, which is due to the county auditor by Dec. 11. 

The board plans to review the resolution in October, with a board vote in November.

Thompson has also suggested the board approve an automatic replacement for the February ballot measure should it fail.

Due to the compressed time frame for the April 22 ballot — with a resolution due to the county by Feb. 26, and the Feb. 8 election not being certified as official until Feb. 19 — the resolution requesting the February measure is also expected to include a second shot at a levy renewal for April.

Information sessions with the public to outline the need for the levy are expected to be held from October through February.

Possible sessions might be held with parents, local clubs and associations, as well as local governments in the months prior to the election.

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