Kennewick schools discuss replacement M&O levy for February ballot

Tri-City HeraldOctober 9, 2013 

— Kennewick School District administrators gave the school board preliminary estimates Wednesday on a two-year replacement levy that could go on the February ballot.

Finance Director Vic Roberts said the district should be able to keep its levy rate at or below the estimated $3.48 per $1,000 in assessed property value and still be able to maintain current programs.

However, even if the rate stays the same, the district is looking to collect more money. The proposed replacement levy would collect between $600,000 and $2.3 million more in 2015 and 2016.

The current two-year levy, which expires in December 2014, collects $22 million this year and $23.4 million in 2014.

The board isn’t expected to vote on the levy rate until early November.

Board members suggested adding some programs to be covered by the money, such as adding another class for dual language curriculum or exploring the possibility of a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM program combined with the arts.

Most Washington school districts use voter-approved maintenance and operation levies on property taxes to fill the gap left from shortfalls in state and federal allocations. The money goes to basic education programs and needs and can’t be used for construction.

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