Letter: Money already replaced by state property taxes

Editor,

This Oak Harbor School replacement levy is 100 percent not needed and was already replaced by state level property tax revenues.

As reported by Northwest Public Broadcasting, in “McCleary Case: A short history of a long and complicated Washington school funding fight,” the legislature … compromised on a $1.3 billion dollar operating budget for Washington schools.

But that wasn’t enough, the McCleary plaintiffs said Washington would need $5 billion a year to run schools properly.

In 2017, the legislature tackled the biggest problem: educators’ salaries were coming from local property tax levies.

The state had to cover those costs.

Legislators decided to raise statewide property tax rates to replace those levies. It still wasn’t enough … then along came the 2018 legislative session, Washington lawmakers were able to close the gap with almost another $800 million in funding, also from property taxes.

On June 7, the Washington Supreme Court ended the $100,000 a day penalty. The state was, at long last, in compliance.”

In other words, because of McCleary, the state legislature has already replaced these local property levies for the K-12 schools with a series of huge statewide property tax increases.

That’s the “Second State School Tax” on ALL our property tax bills. We are already paying this replacement levy because it itself has already been replaced.

Without this enrichment levy, the school district will be just fine with the three property tax line items for schools that remain on our property tax bills.”

William Burnett

Oak Harbor

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