The education levy lid passed with the state budget earlier this year won’t bring tax relief until 2019.
In fact, owners of a $200,000 home will pay at least $674 in 2018 property taxes to fund public education.
Oak Harbor Public Schools will be able to collect $2.55 per thousand dollars of assessed property value during 2018 because of a measure passed in a recent levy election. Complicating matters, the state’s general education levy — set at a rate of 82 cents per thousand in 2018 — comes due as well.
“In the calendar year 2018, local taxpayers will pay the $2.55 of the local levy — and this is true in every district — plus the new state levy they are adding,” said Lance Gibbon, superintendent of Oak Harbor Public Schools.
“So they’ll be paying $3.37 per thousand in 2018.”
Come 2019, however, the local levy portion of that bill will be reduced to $1.50 per thousand.
At the Aug. 14 school board meeting, Gibbon said the idea behind the $1.50 lid was that by limiting local tax-burden, the state would step up and supplement the local levies by funding areas of basic education — those areas ruled under-funded by Olympia in the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
But this system is far from perfect, Gibbon said.
Even with the $1.50 lid, more affluent districts will still be able to collect more money in the long haul if their properties have higher value than in poorer areas.
Yet Gibbon remains thankful for the additional state funding the district will receive.
“In fairness, I think we should be thankful for what we are getting because there are new resources,” Gibbon said.
“We are going to have to see how these things shake out for us as a district.”