Granite Falls schools to seek OK of 2 levies in February

GRANITE FALLS — Voters in Granite Falls will decide in February whether to approve two levies after the school board recently decided on dollar amounts to place on the ballot.

The school district is seeking four-year levies to supplement its programs and operations budget as well as technology and capital projects.

“Really it comes down to the state doesn’t really fully fund education,” Granite Falls School District finance director Mike Sullivan said. “We need these funds to continue to cover the gap that’s not covered by the state.”

District officials say the state government pays about 70 percent of the cost of running schools in Granite Falls. The federal government kicks in another 7 percent, leaving about 23 percent to be picked up through the operations levy.

The district is seeking nearly $4.5 million a year in its operations levy proposal. That’s the same amount it now receives under the current levy approved by voters.

“By leaving the total amount that the district collects the same, we can minimize the impact on the taxpayer while maintaining the operations of the school district,” Sullivan said.

The levy rate for the operations levy would be $4.17 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s about $1,042 a year for a $250,000 home.

District officials say they are asking voters to maintain the status quo.

“Levies are somewhat like a magazine subscription, and that is why school districts go back to voters to renew an expired levy,” district spokeswoman Elizabeth Holderman said.

The technology and capital projects levy helps pay for school and district computer needs as well as large maintenance projects, such as reroofing a school. The proposed amount for the technology and capital projects levy is $642,151 a year with a levy rate of 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That would add $150 annually to the tax bill of a $250,000 home.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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