EPO Replacement Levy total combined tax rates from 1998-2033. Photo courtesy of ISD

EPO Replacement Levy total combined tax rates from 1998-2033. Photo courtesy of ISD

ISD approves new replacement levy resolution

The EPO levy will be on the February 11, 2020 ballot.

The Issaquah School Board passed a resolution for a replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy at the Sept. 12 school board meeting.

The levy will be placed on the Feb. 11, 2020, ballot.

The levy would maintain current funding for programs such as career and technical education, mental health counselors, dual language and safety. It would replace the levy approved by voters in 2018 that expires at the end of 2020.

The district is asking voters to approve $49.85 million in 2021, and $54 million in 2022.

If passed, a tax of about $1.33 per $1,000 of assessed valuation ($931 annually for a home valued at $700,000) will provide $49.85 million for the levy made in 2020 for collection in 2021. A tax of about $1.36 per $1,000 of assessed valuation ($952 annually for a home valued at $700,000) will provide $54 million for the levy made in 2021 for collection in 2022.

Prior to the Sept. 12 meeting, a levy development committee was formed last June. The purpose of the committee was to recommend a single levy package for a 2020 ballot measure. The committee presented its recommendation to Superintendent Ron Thiele, who brought the final recommendation to the Issaquah School Board for approval on Sept. 12.

The committee included 24 school representatives, nine principals from each region and grade span, one Issaquah schools volunteer, one PTSA councilmember, one Issaquah Education Association representative, one classified staff representative, one business representative, one senior community representative and two community members at-large.

The levy development committee considered the proposed content, total cost and tax impact of a single two-year ballot measure.The committee members formed levy packages that included funding essential to ensuring ISD has all the resources possible to meet its mission, and safely and efficiently maintain facilities and property according to state and district use standards and schedules.

For the 2021 EP&O levy, there is an estimated per student levy authority of $2,400 with an enrollment projection of 20,770 students for a total of $49.85 million.

“This amount is less than the projected statutory levy authority of $2,575 per student by $175 per student FTE,” according to the Advance Notice of the EP&O levy.

For the 2022 EP&O levy, ISD recommended an inflationary increase of just over 3 percent above the base statutory authority of $2,500 to $2,575 per student.

“Using a projected 2020-21 student enrollment projection of 20,950 for a total amount of (about $53.94 million) rounded up to $54 million. This amount is $80 less per student than estimated statutory authority for calendar year 2022,” according to the Advance Notice of the EP&O levy.

According to ISD, the district is asking voters for about $6.7 million less than they are legally authorized to collect.

“The total two-year recommended levy amount is $103.85 million.This proposal represents a below full authority levy that is scaled down $6.65 million from the Levy Development Committee recommendation,” according to the Advance Notice of the EP&O levy. “The total combined tax rate is estimated to decrease by $0.21/1,000 from $3.46 to $3.25 in calendar year 2021. The 2022 estimated total combined rate is estimated to be at $3.30/1,000, which is $0.16/1,000 less than the current total tax rate. The resulting total combined local school tax rate in both the aforementioned years is the lowest rate for ISD citizens in over 20 years.”

At the Sept. 12 meeting, Thiele said he is confident that the amount of funding would allow the district to maintain its current programs while remaining fiscally responsible and sensitive to the overall tax rate.

More in News

Issaquah family held hostage is released

Issaquah Police brought in the Crisis Negotiation Team to assist in hostage negotiation.

New Issaquah utility rates, assistance programs

Cost increase and low-income support in 2020.

Federal Way resident Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, 17, died Jan. 27, 2017. Courtesy photo
Law enforcement challenges report on sting operation that killed Federal Way teen

King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight’s findings rattle Sheriff’s Office, police union.

Unstable housing? Apply for Section 8

Applications open in February for housing vouchers

In 2018, the city of Seattle approved and then repealed a head tax within a month. It would have levied a $275 per employee tax on businesses grossing more than $20 million annually. Sound Publishing file photo
County head tax bill passes committee

Bill would let King County levy a tax on businesses to fund housing and address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill of the 2020 legislative session into law. On the right stands the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is wearing a red tie. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gov. Inslee signs tax bill to help fund higher education

Law shifts a portion of the tax burden to large tech companies.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County Metro bus fleet will be electrified by 2035

Future base in South King County would house hundreds of the zero-emission vehicles.

Three-quarters of the suicide deaths among children ages 10 to 14 are caused by firearms, according to a new report from the Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program at the University of Washington. File photo
King County studies youth gun violence amid rising suicides

It’s unclear what’s driving the trend.

A King County work crew clears a road near Preston on Feb. 7, 2020. Heavy rains appear to have caused multiple landslides along the road. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
The future could look a lot like this year’s flood season

Climate change is expected to lead to more winter flooding in King County.

Theo Koshar, Janet McIntosh and Robin Kelley of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery work to find road drains and clear them of leaves, outside the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in Issaquah, WA on Feb. 6, 2020. Mitchell Atencio/Staff Photo
Rapid rainfall has led to flooding, impacting all parts of King County.

County warns residents to obey barricades for safety.

Newport Way Southwest between Front Street South and Wildwood Blvd Southwest is closed due to phase 4 flooding. Photo courtesy of City of Issaquah Twitter
Heavy rainfall leads to phase 4 flood warnings in Issaquah

The rainfall should be cresting by early afternoon and the flood warning is expected to be lifted by 6 p.m. tonight, according to the NWS.

Black Press file photo
North Bend facility will serve as U.S. quarantine zone

Facility will be one of five nationwide.