The Times 

Dayton resident asks voters to reject two special school levies


January 18, 2024

To the Editor:

Usually, you have zero say about taxes.

But this February, you have the opportunity to say No to a tax, when the Dayton School District puts forth two special levies seeking to extract from taxpayers, beginning in 2025, $1.41-$1.48 per $1,000 of assessed home value for a Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy AND $1.50 per $1,000 assessed home value for a Replacement Capital Levy for Technology, Safety, and Facility Improvements.

Often, school levy supporters like to speak in terms of “cups of coffee,” as in, “This is the equivalent to giving up a latte or two a week – and it’s for our KIDS!” But that hides the final figures of what taxpayers will owe.

Let’s look at those figures:

If your house property valuation is $100,000, the amount you will be taxed is $141 for the first levy and $150 for the second: $291 total, every year, for four years.

For a $200,000 house, the numbers are $282 and $300: $582 total.

For a $300,000 house, $423 and $450: $873 total.

That’s a lot of cups of coffee.

“But it’s not a New Tax,” the coffee counters say, “It’s a Replacement Levy!”

Okay, so how much is it replacing?

The first levy, which is a “proposition to finance educational programs and operation expenses,” is presently $1.38 per $1000 valuation, so the increase isn’t that much, if you’re okay with continually voluntarily taxing yourself.

The second levy – well, that’s a jump. It’s presently $0.19 per $1000, which means that this “proposition to finance capital improvements to support learning environments” is demanding 7.9 times more.

“But Dayton will Die if we don’t support our schools – and our KIDS!”

Taxpayers do, already, significantly support public schools. Every special levy is in addition to the mandatory tax we pay, via property taxes, to cover “basic education.” In 2023 this represented $2.33 per $1000 in home value.

This tax took a big permanent jump in 2017 when a judge determined that the state needed to “fully fund basic education.”

So let’s add in that compulsory state basic education tax. If both levies pass, this is what you will owe – just for the public education funding portion of your property taxes:

$100,000 property valuation – $524 per year.

$200,000 property valuation – $1048

$300,000 property valuation – $1572

Incidentally, these numbers don’t take into account the continuous increasing valuation of your home. As that increases, so also do your property taxes.

If you are disquieted about the recent increase in city/sewer rates (over which you had no say) and the constantly rising electricity rates (over which you have no say), you are justified in questioning whether or not you want to continue voluntarily taxing yourself at these rates.

You don’t have to disclose your decision to Vote No, nor do you have to report this decision to the Say Yes to Kids! This Isn’t A New Tax It’s a Replacement Levy It Only Costs as Much as a Cup of Coffee crowd.

You just have to vote No.

Carolyn Henderson102 Deer Pond Lane

Dayton, Wash.


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