Solution found for education funding
The big challenge this year was solving the generational problem of inequity within our statewide school funding system and an overreliance on local funds for basic education. For decades, past legislatures have reduced the percentage of state investment going to K-12 education. Since the Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus took control of the Senate, we have dramatically reversed that trend and now have the largest share of the state budget devoted to education in more than 30 years. After the state high court’s McCleary decision, we set about finding a solution that would provide equitable funding for our schools and put the burden for basic education back on the state where it constitutionally belongs. This budget achieves that result.
Property tax cuts for 73 percent of state residents!
The budget compromise included a school funding equity plan that necessarily raises property taxes in the Seattle area, and lowers taxes in Pierce County. For example, the average homeowner in University Place will see a cut of $553 compared to what they pay now.
At least 73 percent of the overall state population will see a property tax rate lower than what they currently pay. In addition, the levy reform ensures that students’ funding does not depend on the zip code in which they live. The reform also provides a local levy cap and ensures that only the state can pay the costs of basic education, so local levies will truly be for extras desired by local communities.