Battle Ground Public Schools will host a virtual Levy Information Night to provide details and answer questions about Proposition 5, the district’s replacement educational programs and operations levy that will be on the February 9, 2021, ballot.
All members of the community are invited to the public event, which will be held on January 14, 2021, at 6 p.m. via Zoom webinar. Join the webinar at bit.ly/LevyInfoNight.
At the event, school district administrators will present information about the replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy and then answer questions. More information about the levy and the information night is on the district website at www.battlegroundps.org/levy.
In November, Battle Ground Public Schools’ Board of Directors voted to put the replacement levy on the February 9th special election ballot. 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 in 2021. The local levy rate is projected to be $1.95 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2022, which is about 22 percent less than the 2020 tax rate. 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.
To offset the loss in tax revenue, the district will dip into its rainy-day reserve fund. Seeing that the pandemic has had economic implications for many families in the community, the school board decided that providing relief to the Battle Ground schools community during the pandemic would be a good use of some of the reserve funds. “I don’t like to have to use the reserve fund, but COVID is one of those things that makes it necessary,” said Board President Troy McCoy.
Battle Ground Public Schools already has the lowest property tax rate of all K-12 districts in Clark County, and it is projected to be even lower in 2022. 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.
Key points of the district’s replacement levy are:
Replacement levy will decrease the tax rate in 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 not fully funded by the state and to maintain facilities.
The levy will be for four years, 2022–2025.