Richland School District is putting two levies on Feb 2018 ballot

Richland School District putting two levies on Feb 2018 ballot

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Richland School District is dishing out two new levies for less than the price of one.

Voters in Richland will decide the fate of two smaller school levies in February, instead of a large one.

“It allows us to provide some resources that the state doesn't provide,” said Rick Schulte, Richland School District Superintendent.

With some legislative changes on school budgets and funding, levies in Washington are going to get smaller and cover different expenses.

“We have to decide what can be included in the levy and what can't be,” Schulte said.

The Richland School District is introducing an enrichment levy that will cover things like music, sports, after school clubs, and special education.

“The communities, parents, families, and voters have been extremely supportive of our schools,” Schulte said.

And levy number two is a technology levy that will fund devices like laptops and printers.

But even with these two levies replacing the pre-existing levy, people will actually be paying less in property taxes than before.

“Their tax rates will be going down,” Schulte said. “We're still using it for good things, and we're going to still have good schools.”

The enrichment and technology levies combined come to a rate of two dollars for every $1,000 assessed on property. So for a $200,000 home, homeowners would owe $400 a year in property taxes--compared to $680 before.

“A local levy gives local control over the things we feel are important in education,” Schulte said. “We don't have to go to Olympia and talk to our senators and representatives to ask them to give us what we think is important.”

And educators say these two levies will cover the next four years, instead of the typical two years.

Schulte said the board has agreed on the levies, but needs to come to a final vote sometime in November.

Richland voters will see the levies on their February 2018 ballots.

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