School district tax measures can be confusing as they don’t appear on a ballot every year. This page helps to lessen the confusion. If you have specific questions or need further clarification you can send us a message by clicking on Contact Us . This site is owned and maintained by Longview Citizens for Quality Schools and is not a part of the Longview School District. However, feel free to contact the Longview School District if you have any questions about the upcoming levy.
I thought the state now provides the funds for local schools
- The state does pay a base amount based on what is called a ‘prototypical’ model when it comes to staffing. This levy is not associated with staffing needs. Is is associated with facility and technology needs. Each of the 295 school districts in our state has needs beyond what the the state provides.
- Public schools are one of the few tax funded entities that voters can vote directly on measures we pay taxes for. Cities, counties, special district like ports and others set tax rates by their governing boards.
I thought we just voted on a school measure?
There are two types of school measures, levies and bonds. It can be confusing as measures as levies are recurring anywhere from every year to every four years.
Bonds are long term financing for major facility needs as new schools or a major remodel of school facilities. The last bond measure in Longview was around 20 years ago to build Mt. Solo and remodel Cascade and Monticello. The measure a few years ago was for a bond, not a levy. While over 58% of you voted YES, but bonds need a 60% approval.
A levy is a short-term, local property tax passed by the voters of a school district that generates revenue for the district to fund programs and services that the state does not fund or fully fund as part of “basic education.”
- This Capital Project and Technology Levy is just that and what is covered is extensively covered in this website.
- Educational Programs and Services (EP&O) allow a school district to provide things like teachers, support staff, supplies and materials, or services that the state only partially funds. Longview is in the second year of a four year EP&O levy.
What is my investment?
- A levy is for a specific dollar amount and the rate per $1000 of assessed value is computed based on that dollar amount. This will be a request for a levy over a period of four years. The chart below shows the approximate rate per $1000 of your assessed value of your property. The approximate levy rate of $2.22 is based on the most recent assessed value of property within the school district tax district. If property values change between 2023 and 2026 that rate will change. It should be noted that the maximum rate the district could set is $2.50 per thousand. The school board set the levy amount based on our absolute needs to close the gap from what the state allocation is to what the needs of the district to support the vital programs in place.
- The figures on your tax statement for schools includes what the state levies, what the local school district levies for Educational Programs and Services Levies, Capital Project and Technology Levies and school bonds (of which are being retired this year).
- See the information in the latest Cowlitz County Voter’s Pamphlet.
Collection Years Approximate rate/$1,000 Assessed Value Levy Amount 2023 $ 0.88 $ 6,300,000 2024 $ 0.73 $ 5,500,000 2025 $ 0.63 $ 5,000,000 2026 $ 0.54 $ 4,500,000
What about the emergency funds the district is eligible for?
Longview did qualify for one time Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) that have to be used by August 2024. The amount a district is eligible for based on a percent of low income students enrolled. Those funds come with very specific uses of the funds that they can be spent for. Some air quality and qualifying specific technology uses are scheduled to be partially addressed using the one-time ESSER funds. This levy, as well as the ESSER funds still do not address the list of needs. The funds must be expended by August 31, 2023. It isn’t ‘cash in the bank, as district needs to apply for reimbursement after they are used for appropriate needs.