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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

East Valley School District sends near $60 million levy to February ballots

The East Valley School District will seek voters’ approval on a $56.9 million renewal of its educational programs and operations levy that pays for extracurriculars, additional staff and maintenance.

Approved by the school board on October 10 for a February 13 ballot, the resolution splits the collection over four years. It would replace the current levy tax rate of $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed property value to an estimated collection of $2.06 per $1,000 in 2025, $1.99 in 2026, $1.95 in 2027 and a projected $1.89 in 2028.

Levy dollars account for 17% of the district’s total budget. State funding covers basic education, which excludes clubs, sports, some transportation costs, some special education, and extra staff, which are all users of these levy funds.

The state pays for 9.3 counselors across the district based on East Valley’s enrollment. Supplemented by levy funding, the district employs 12 counselors who help high schoolers in college and career preparation, and students’ emotional and mental wellbeing.

“We’re grateful for the support of the community, to be able to offer programs first for our students to be able to reap,” said Superintendent Brian Talbott. “All the students are the beneficiaries of all of those dollars.”

In 2022, the tax rate was $2.29 per $1,000. Talbott said historically, tax rates hover around $2.40, but a sharp increase in property value in the district, 30% in 2023, has reduced the tax burden of individual property owners. While projected rates are subject to fluctuation based on property value, the district only collects the total amount presented to voters.

“The rate, though, is determined on the overall assessed value,” said Neale Rasmussen, executive director of business services at the district. “Because assessed values have gone up, the amount that each taxpayer pays per $1,000 actually has gone down.”

The capital projects levy, which funds technology and construction, expires in 2026. Taxpayers currently pay 72 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value towards the capital levy.