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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Property tax cuts and more student funding for the 28th District under “One Washington Education Equality Act”

If the One Washington Education Equality Act becomes law, the overwhelming majority of school districts would see an increase in funding per student compared to the current system, and the 28th Legislative District is no exception. For example, Clover Park schools would see an increase of almost $1,200 per student. University Place School District would see an increase of $910 per student.

Levy reform and property taxes

One of the challenges identified by the McCleary decision was the need to create an equitable funding system. Currently, funding levels for students vary enormously by district—and so do tax rates. In some districts, because of high property values, large amounts of revenue can be generated with a relatively low increase in levy rates. In other districts with low property values, comparative levy rates can be extremely high, yet raise much more modest amounts.

Under the One Washington plan, a “local effort levy” of $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value replaces the existing maintenance and operations levy. The current statewide average M&O levy is $2.54 per $1,000. In the majority of districts, property owners will see a property tax cut. For some others, there is a mechanism within the plan to use future revenue growth to help pay down the rate.

As you can see in the chart, the plan benefits the 28th District, both in terms of per-pupil funding and property tax relief for the average homeowner.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • My column on why the death penalty is still just was published in the Seattle Times on Tuesday. You can check it out here.