Levies are for Learning!
Centralia School District's Board of Directors has approved a resolution to run a second levy attempt on the August 4, 2020 ballot. The new resolution calls for a two-year levy at a lower rate of approximately $2 per thousand in assessed value, generating:
- $5.3 million in 2021
- $5.4 million in 2022
More details coming soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a new tax?
No. Centralia property owners have been paying local school levy taxes for more than 45 years. The rate and amount varies with each replacement levy.
Why do we vote on levies so frequently?
Local school levies expire. The duration of a levy generally most commonly ranges from two to four years. School districts ask voters to renew their levies as they approach their expiration date.
When does the current EP&O levy expire?
At the end of 2020.
How much will the replacement levy cost?
Approximately $2 per $1,000 in assessed value. The rate will flucturate with property values but our district will recieve the same amount of levy funding each year.
What happens if the levy fails again?
If the levy fails a second time, we are not permitted to run an other attempt until 2021. This would result in a complete loss of levy funding until at least 2022. A double levy failure means that Centralia will lose all local levy funding and all state local effort assistance (LEA, or levy equalization) funding. The result would be up to $11.9 million in spending reductions for the 2020-21 school year.
What do levy funds pay for?
Levy funds can only be used for enhancement and programs that are not defined as basic education. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Special Education
- Additional staff (such as counselors, paraeducators, etc.)
- Music and arts programs
- Facility Maintenance
- Student transportation
- Staff professional development
- Food service
- Technology purchases, maintenance, and replacement
How much of the district's annual budget is made up of levy funds?
In the current school year, about 6.6% of our budget is EP&O levy funds.
Will Centralia have to make spending cuts next year?
Yes. Even if the levypasses, a number of other factors mean we will still have to make some spending reductions for 2020-21.
Where can I learn more about the current and historical taxes for my property?
The Lewis County Assessor's office offers a parcel search service where you can find this information.
Didn't the McCleary ruling and subsequent legislation "fully fund" education?
No. The McCleary ruling only involved the way the state funds basic education. It did not impact special education or anything else not defined as basic education, such as the programs supported by levy funds.
I'm a senior citizen or disabled. Do I have to pay this tax?
Certain senior citizens or disabled persons may qualify for an exemption from school levy taxes. Please contact the Lewis County Assessor's office.
What is Centralia's average teacher salary?
Levy funds cannot be used for basic education teacher salaries.
Base average: $75,794.82
District professional deveopment/other days: $2540.24
Total average teacher salary: $79,282.51
Centralia's average teacher salary is lower than Chehalis and the state average.
Why is it going up?
State legislation in 2017 forced districts to lower their local levy rates. The impact of that legislation left districts struggling to continue to provide levy-funded programs and services their voters asked for. From 2010 through 2019, our average levy rate per $1,000 in Centralia has been $2.48 per $1,000.
In 2019, the legislature took action to remedy the situation caused by their McCleary fix. Districts can now seek local levies at a rate of $2.00 per $1.000 in assessed value. Our Board of Directors deliberated carefully before deciding to seek a replacement levy that restores funding for important programs and services in our district.
Please email additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-330-7600.
Download any of our levy informational materials by clicking on the file name.
Register to Vote!
You must be legally registered to vote in a school levy election. Washington State makes it easy to register online, by mail, or in person (at a county elections office). Click here to register to vote...