School levies topic of Sequim meeting

Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM — Citizens for Sequim schools will present information at a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, on levies that will be on the February ballot.

The meeting will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sequim Senior Activity Center, 921 E. Hammond St.

Assuming no schedule conflicts, School Board members, the superintendent and the finance manager for the district will be there to answer questions.

A special election to consider extending a school maintenance and operations levy, which was approved by voters in 2008, and a separate one-year transportation levy will be held Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The current maintenance and operations levy expires this year and covers daily operational costs above what the district receives in state aid.

The levy would raise $5.78 million each year for four years — 2014 through 2017 — at the same amount as the current levy.

The exact levy rate would be adjusted based on the actual assessed value of property each year, but the county Assessor’s Office estimated future Sequim levy rates to be:

■ $1.61060 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013 and 2014.

■ $1.60899 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2015.

■ $1.60738 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2016.

One-time levy for buses

The transportation levy would allow for replacement of the district’s school bus fleet.

The proposed $1.6 million transportation measure is a one-time, one-year levy to purchase 17 school buses for the district.

The district currently has 32 buses, the oldest purchased in 1988, said Brian Lewis, director of business services.

School districts receive depreciation payments each year for 13 years after purchasing a bus.

Currently, eight buses are older than 13 years old, and an additional nine buses will cross that line in the next two years, Lewis said.

School bus prices depend on the number of passengers, from $50,000 for a small “special education” bus with a wheelchair lift to $102,000 for a large 72-passenger bus.

The levy fund can be used only to purchase yellow school buses and cannot buy vans or other district vehicles, according to state law.

In 2012, the combination of all district levies cost property owners about $1.943 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The combination of the levy renewal and a proposed school bus levy in 2015 is estimated to be $1.566 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The Clallam County assessor’s current estimated levy rate for district property owners is $0.43833 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013, but the levy rate depends on the final amount of property assessments in the school district.

Last modified: January 02. 2013 5:52PM
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