Idaho’s supplemental levy tax bill for has hit an all-time record this year, Idaho EdNews reports. Property taxpayers will shell out $188.8 million in voter-approved supplemental levies in 2016-17, up from $186.6 million in 2015-16; the previous high-water mark was $188.1 million in 2013-14.
Supplemental levies are a flashpoint in the ongoing debate over Idaho education funding, writes EdNews reporter Kevin Richert. Many school leaders have said the levies are no longer supplemental at all, but instead provided essential backfill, particularly during the global downturn. But many of these same administrators say the levies are an unstable funding source, since they run for only one or two years, and require majority support at the polls. You can read Richert's full report here.
Most of this year’s levies are renewals of past ones, though some have increased; and the total number of school districts with supplemental levies is 93 this year, down from 94 a year ago. Idaho has 115 school districts.