Mercer Island School Board vote approves levy renewal proposal

The Mercer Island School Board unanimously approved a maintenance and operations levy proposition Thursday evening. This four-year levy, a renewal for the previous levy passed in 2010, is scheduled for the February 11 election by Mercer Island voters.

“The maintenance and operations levy is essential to maintaining our excellent schools and staff,” said Mercer Island School Board Vice-President Brian Emanuels. “It funds 26 percent of our district general fund for educational programs and services, including nearly 100 teachers and staff.”

Because Washington state does not fully fund K-12 education, sustained local funding through the maintenance and operations levy is required in order to maintain the current level of educational programs in Mercer Island schools exceeding the levels funded by the state.

If successful, the levy would collect between $14 million and $17 million per year from 2015 to 2018 for educational programs and services, including teaching, school supplies, technology, athletics, transportation and building maintenance. Mercer Island property taxes would increase by $0.06 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. For a Mercer Island property with an assessed value of $1 million, it would result in an increase of about $60 per year.

The levy will accompany the $98.8 million bond proposition on the February election ballot. The bond includes three solutions to address overcrowding in our schools, while the levy supports strong schools through educational programs. The bond would increase property taxes by $0.25 per thousand dollars of assessed property value, or about $250 per year on a $1 million Mercer Island property.

The election will be an all-mail special election, meaning voters will receive their ballots sometime between late-January and early-February.


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