BISD to put two levies on November ballot

Reaffirming its goal to keep taxes stable, the Bainbridge Island School District Board of Directors unanimously approved resolutions to put two levies to voters on the November ballot. The district will be asking for a reduced four-year technology levy renewal and as a two-year supplemental program and operations levy.

“When you see two levies on the ballot that's going to be a challenge for people to understand,” Board President Patty Fielding said. “It’s not an additional tax; it’s not something new or different. We’re putting them together.”

The district’s current technology levy expires at the end of this year, and voters approved the current four-year program and operations levy renewal in February. The increase in the operations levy could be used to fund teachers and maintain low class sizes.

The district’s four-year $6.1 million technology levy request will be reduced by $825,000 to accommodate the supplemental levy request, keeping the combined levy requests at a total of $6.1 million, or $1.525 million per year from 2011-2014.

“The technology levy money ends this year,” Fielding said. “Without the technology levy we’re zero, as the state is requiring that we do assessments online and testing online and parents are saying ‘I want my child’s report cards online and I want to communicate with you online.’”

SHB 2893 allows school districts to increase their levy requests by 4 percent for 2011-2017. The district has cut 13 percent of its operating budget over the last three years, and faced a $1 million gap for the 2010-2011 budget.

The supplemental levy would allow the district to request an additional $625,000 in 2011 and $200,000 in 2012 for a total of $825,000.

The levy currently allows $8.3 million to be levied in 2011, $8.5 million in 2012, $8.7 million in 2013 and $8.9 million in 2014.

“I think we’ve gone through all the different ways we can do this with keeping the taxes stable and the community,” Board Director Dave Pollock said. “I think both these resolutions make a lot of sense for the school district; they make a lot of sense for the tax payer.”

Reduced technology levy renewal

Year: Levy rate, Levy amount

2011: $.16, $900,000

2012: $.23, $1,325,000

2013: $.26, $1,525,000

2014: $.26, $1,525,000

Program and operations supplemental levy

Year: Levy rate, Levy amount

2011: $.11, $625,000

2012: $.04, $200,000

2013: 0,

2014: 0,

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