Snohomish School District levy measures on February ballots

SNOHOMISH — Voters will see two school levies on their ballot soon.
One asks to continue local-level funding for education, the other asks to continue special levy funding for technology, facility and safety upgrades.
The district would use the money to uphold the quality of education residents expect from their school district, Superintendent Kent Kultgen said.
The education levy is to cover a gap not funded through state dollars. The measure asks for a flat $1.80 per $1,000 in assessed property value each year to 2026 to contribute more than $20 million a year into the school budget.
“Anything after the bell gets paid through this levy,” and that is more than sports, Kultgen said. Theater, arts, the summer bookmobile and more all fall into the same group.
The money also covers about 56 jobs. Sixty percent of the money would go toward classroom support workers.
For example, the state only pays for one-twelfth of the school nurses working in the The technology, facilities and safety levy asks for a flat 60 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value each year to 2026.
The money would go toward more security cameras, playground upgrades and more.
The technology part would update the devices and software students currently use. “We want to give our students the best,” Kultgen said.
These levy dollars would add more security camera coverage at district elementary schools, and to modernize the security camera systems at Snohomish’s main high schools and middle schools.
The playground improvements are to replace older equipment.
The money also would upgrade existing portables. Kultgen said the district does not plan to add any more portables.
A repair to-do list which would have been covered through a construction bond hasn’t gone away, though. The list of HVAC, mechanical and other repairs is ever-evolving, but some of these may be reappearing in the facilities portion of this levy request.
The district will be having a future conversation about a school construction bond, but isn’t ready to start talking yet, Kultgen said. “Right now we’re just focused on the levies.”
A 2020 request for a $470 million bond didn’t pass.
Overall, if voters approve both levy measures, the district’s portion for property taxes in 2023 would be $4.40 per $1,000 in assessed value.
For a $400,000 homeowner, $4.40 per $1,000 would be $1,760 in local school taxes.
Currently, the district is charging $4.47 per $1,000 this year. A $400,000 homeowner this year is paying $1,788 in local school taxes. Their property will most likely increase in value in 2023.
The levy measures are worth $2.40 per $1,000. The remainder of the local tax bill is to pay off long-term bonds which voters approved in previous years.
Ballots are being mailed out Thursday Jan. 20. They are due back Tuesday, Feb. 8.