By James Robinson
In a special election on Feb. 13, Chimacum area voters must decide whether to increase property taxes to fund the Chimacum School District’s capital projects …
By James Robinson
In a special election on Feb. 13, Chimacum area voters must decide whether to increase property taxes to fund the Chimacum School District’s capital projects levy – a ballot measure aimed at funding facilities repairs, upgrades and updates to student technology across the district.
According to school district documents, “The state provides little to no funding for school construction projects or technology, and we rely on capital levies to fund needed repairs and maintenance, as well as facility upgrades and student technology.”
Chimacum has relied on capital projects levies rather than bonds since 2012.
If approved, the district’s capital projects levy would target HVAC system updates, roof replacements across the district, new playgrounds at Chimacum Creek Primary School and Chimacum Elementary School, paint and carpet at the primary school, updated student technology such as laptops for students, and general maintenance and repairs.
Listed on the ballot as Chimacum School District No. 49 Proposition No. 1, the four-year capital levy rate would cost Chimacum-area homeowners $0.66 per $1,000 in assessed value. For a homeowner with a property valued at $600,000, the levy would cost $396 per year. If approved, the new levy rate would begin in 2025 and would mean an increase from the 2024 capital levy amount of $0.39 per $1,000 in assessed value.
A levy rate is the amount of property tax assessed for every $1,000 of property value. A levy rate of $1 means that for every $1,000 of property value, the owner of the property will have to pay $1 in taxes. When property values rise, the levy rate goes down. Conversely, if property values fall, then levy rates rise to ensure property owners contribute the amount approved by voters. While property values may fluctuate, state law does not allow schools to collect more than the total dollar amount voters approved.
Should voters approve the ballot measure, the levy resolution would authorize the district to collect $2.325 million per year for four years. This would be an increase from the previously approved $1.325 million per year collection amount approved in 2012 and renewed in 2018. The current capital levy amount has remained the same since 2012.
According to state law, levy funds must remain separate from the district's general fund, and cannot be used for day-to-day operations or to address budget shortfalls.
Levies are approved if the ballot measure receives support from a simple majority of voters.
There are no arguments against the ballot measure listed in the Jefferson County online voter’s guide.