Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Educational Programs and Operations Levy?

Levies support student learning. An Educational Programs and Operations Levy is a voter-approved property tax to fund educating students and operating schools beyond state basic education funding. The levy may be run for a maximum of four years. When voters approve the levy, they approve a set amount. The school district will collect only up to the total amount approved by voters.

Why are levies important and what will our local levy pay for?

The replacement levy continues our community’s investment in our students. The replacement levy maintains and enhances essential funding for programs and operations that are not funded by the state. Examples include:

  • Readiness support and extended-day programs for students—includes interventions for those who need additional help and Highly Capable programs for those who need additional rigor and challenge
  • Instructional materials
  • Special education funding for students with special needs
  • School nurses, counselors and librarians above state allocation
  • School security officers and safety support personnel
  • Student safety and wellness—mental health, social, emotional and behavioral support
  • Staff training days
  • Educational technology to support effective instruction and student learning
  • Extracurricular programs, including athletics and after-school clubs, drama and music

How will the Replacement Levy Impact My Property Taxes?

The Replacement Levy is not a new tax. The proposed levy would replace the current levy that expires in December 2024. The replacement levy tax rate is estimated to be $2.36 per $1,000 of assessed property value (APV), and the school district would only collect up to the amount approved by voters.

This is less than the 2024 estimated replacement levy tax rate of $2.43 per APV.

I thought the legislature fixed education funding. Schools are getting more money from the state. Aren’t schools fully funded now?

Not exactly. The state legislature passed legislation to fund basic education by increasing the amount the state collects in state school property tax and decreasing the amount school districts can collect through local levies. Not all education costs are fully funded. The levy funds programs, operations and support that are not fully funded by the state such as school safety and security, special education, student readiness programs, educational technology, extracurricular programs and other important needs. This change in how schools are funded does not change the need for local levies.

If the state legislature passed a state property tax for education funding, why does the district need a local levy?

A portion of the property taxes that used to go directly to local schools through local levies now goes to the state to distribute to schools as part of basic education funding.

Local school districts ask taxpayers for a levy to fund enrichment and educational costs and operations not funded by the state, but for a much smaller amount than before. The local replacement levy provides an opportunity for our local community to make decisions about its schools.

What happens if the levy doesn’t pass?

If the replacement levy doesn’t pass, the school board will have to decide whether to run the levy again or how to substantially reduce programs and services to balance the budget.

How will the levy impact seniors or individuals with disabilities?

Low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities may qualify for exemption for property taxes. Additional information is available on the Pierce County website.

How much funding will the levy generate from our local community?

If approved, the ballot measure would collect $107.6 million over the four years of the measure:

2025 $25,725,495
2026 $26,497,260
2027 $27,292,178
2028 $28,110,943

If voters approve the replacement levy, the district is eligible to receive state local effort assistance.

Is this a replacement levy or a new tax?

It is a replacement levy. This is not a new tax. The levy would replace the four-year levy approved by voters in 2020 that will expire at the end of December 2024.