The Richland School Board has approved the levy amounts which will be presented to voters on February 14:
$19.76 million in 2013 (a 7.7% increase over the 2012 levy of $18.35 million) $20.94 million in 2014 (a 5.9% increase over 2013)
The operations levy allows the District to continue basic programs which are not fully funded by the state including: instructional materials, transportation, extra-curricular activities and utilities expenses. Levy money makes up about 17% of the District's annual operating budget.
"This levy will allow us to maintain our quality programs and maintain a fiscally sound budget," said Superintendent Jim Busey.
The operations levy is not a new tax. It will replace the current levy which expires at the end of 2012. Every two years, District residents are asked to renew the levy.
"We're keeping this levy as low as we can, yet the District will still be able to maintain its excellent educational program," said Rick Jansons, President of the Richland School Board.
If voters choose to renew the levy, the estimated tax rate would go up five cents in 2013, from $3.09 per $1000 of assessed valuation to $3.14 per $1000. Yearly property taxes would increase five dollars on a $100,000 home.
The Benton County Auditor's Office will mail out election ballots to all Richland School District residents around January 26.