Coupeville school levy set for February

Approximately 20 percent of the Coupeville School District’s operations is funded by local levy dollars.

School officials hope voters will continue their support by approving a replacement levy when they go to the polls Feb. 7, 2006. It would need to pass by a 60 percent supermajority.

“It literally pays for 18 to 20 percent of what you do everyday,” said Superintendent Bill Myhr.

He said the levy fills gaps left by insufficient state support, such as $100,000 in transportation funding, purchases and maintenance activities. The levy also supports three extra teachers to help reduce class size and it pays for extra-curricular activities such as History Day and Learning Partners.

Should voters approve the four-year replacement levy, they would pay an estimated $1.36 beginning in 2007 and the rate could increase to $1.42 by 2010. The levy would bring in $1.9 million in 2007 and the amount would increase to $2.3 million in 2010.

Myhr said the 2006 levy is the maximum amount the school district can ask from voters. He said a school district can ask for a levy that is 24 percent of state funding.

“It’s been at its lid for some time,” Myhr said.

He said the levy rate is a high estimate that will change when home valuations and state funding is known. He said the current levy rate is $1.30 and the highest rate has been $1.36.

The school district has a history of making high estimates with tax rates for voters. When the school district was informing residents about a bond, they advertised a combined bond and levy rate of $3.41. In actuality, it was $3.03, Myhr said.

“We’d rather estimate high than estimate low,” Myhr said.

With the levy specifics known, volunteers are gearing up to inform voters about the proposal.

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