Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a school levy?

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    It is a local property tax collected to help finance the education programs and operations of public schools in the Orting School District. Our Replacement Educational Maintenance & Operations Levy pays for items necessary for the day-to-day operations of schools. It includes items not fully funded by the State and provides about 18% of the District’s financial support.

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  • How much will the levies cost me?

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    Approval of the Replacement Educational Programs & Operations Levy would result in an estimated tax rate of $3.99 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation over the life of the levy.

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  • What does the levy pay for?

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    By raising money locally through a levy, the district is able to maintain funding for programs beyond what the state provides. This includes:
    · Instructional assistants who work one-on-one or in small groups with students, and provide supervision on the playground;
    · Programs to challenge students, such as gifted education and advanced placement;
    · Special education, remediation, and English as a Second Language programs;
    · Books, learning materials, software and technology used by students in school;
    · Training for teachers to keep their skills and knowledge updated;
    · Time for teachers to prepare quality classroom lessons;
    · Transporting students to and from school;
    · Coaching, supervision, and transportation for extracurricular activities, including student music programs and all sports programs;
    · Maintaining and operating school facilities, including heat and lights for classrooms;
    · Counselors, librarians, and nurses; and,
    · Fair and competitive salaries to retain highly qualified staff.

     

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  • What is the time frame for our levy?

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    Orting School District Maintenance and Operations Levies are placed before voters every two years.

     
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  • Why does the district have to request a levy?

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    Doesn’t the state fully fund basic education? State and other funding provides approximately 82% of the funds required to operate the school district. The funds from the replacement levy allow the district to continue programs and services that are not fully paid for by the state.

     

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  • Is there an exemption for senior citizens?

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    Yes, if senior citizens meet certain eligibility requirements. For additional information about eligibility, contact the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurers Office - Senior Citizen and Disabled Person Property Tax Exemption Department at 253 798 2169.

     

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  • Is there a funding limit for the Replacement Educational Programs & Operations Levy?

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    Yes, the state puts a levy lid on the amounts a district may request. This lid is relative to the level of certain state and federal revenues received.  (Note: The district is again not requesting the maximum allowed by the state.)

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  • What will happen if the levy does not pass?

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    We are hopeful the measure will pass. The school board will make that decision as part of the budget process when it considers available resources for all sources (local levies, state, and federal funds). When faced with cuts, the district always makes cuts to the classroom last; students are our top priority. However, a failed levy would be felt at all levels across the system.

     

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  • How much is the proposed levy compared to the levy it is replacing?

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    This two-year levy will have an estimated tax rate of $3.99 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for 2016 and $3.99 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for 2017. If approved, the district anticipates collecting $4,350,000 in 2017 and $4,475,000 in 2018. This is less per thousand than was approved in the last levy. The last levy was assessed at $4.57 per $1,000 for 2015 and $4.61 per $1,000 for 2016.

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  • What are the official voter approval requirements for an M&O Levy?

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    Two requirements must be satisfied for successful passage of an M&O Levy. First, it must receive a “simple majority” of approval by district voters. In other words, the Levy must bass by a margin of “50% + 1”, of the total votes cast. Secondly, an M&O election must satisfy validation” requirements. The number of “yes” votes must equal 24% of the total ballots in the prior general election. For example, if there were 3,000 votes cast in the district during the last general election, the following M&) Levy must generate 720 “yes” votes to validate.

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  • How much of the levy dollars will be used to build new schools?

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    None of the levy dollars will be used to build new schools.  School districts must run a Capital Bond or Capital Levy to fund construction.

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  • How does Orting compare with other school districts?

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    Most school districts in the greater Puget Sound area also have Educational Replacement levies that provide approximately 20% of their financial support. Tax rates vary based upon the total assessed valuation of taxable property within the district as well as the M&O Levy amounts school districts are authorized to collect.

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  • Where can I get more information?

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    Contact Orting School District Central Office at 360-893-6500.

     
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