Frequently asked questions about the 2020 levy

Recent changes in Washington state’s funding model for K-12 education have created a multimillion-dollar deficit for VPS. The district took steps to address the deficit for the 2019-2020 school year and preserve services to students. However, it also will face another multimillion-dollar deficit for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, absent new funding, and is asking voters to consider a supplemental levy to support current levels of programs and services.

Voters approve collection amounts for school levies. Tax rates are how much each property owner would pay per assessed $1,000. The actual rate may be different due to changes in state funding, property assessments and area growth; however, VPS can’t collect more than the amount that voters approved.

The estimated rates per thousand are:

  • 43 cents in 2021
  • 41 cents in 2022
  • 40 cents in 2023

To determine the amount for your property, divide the total assessment by 1,000 and multiply it by the rates above.

If the supplemental levy were approved, a home assessed at $350,000 would pay $150 for the first year.

The math:

350,000 ÷ 1,000 = 350

350 × 43 cents =  $150

Voters will be asked to approve the following:

  • 2021—$10 million
  • 2022—$10.415 million
  • 2023—$10.875 million

Vancouver Public Schools cannot collect more from the supplemental levy than these amounts.

All registered voters residing within the boundaries of Vancouver Public Schools may vote on Feb. 11, 2020.

To become a registered voter for this election you must:

  1. Be a United States citizen.
  2. Be a resident of Clark County.
  3. Be 18 years of age by the day of the election.
  4. Not be disqualified from voting by a court order.

Find out how to register to vote (external link).

Under certain conditions, people with disabilities and citizens 61 years of age or older are eligible for a tax exemption. Consideration is given to income, ownership of the taxable residence and other factors. For more information and to apply for an exemption, contact the Clark County Assessor’s Office (external link).

McCleary funding provided more money to schools in 2018 through increased taxes at the state level. At the same time, the state also reduced and limited the amount that districts could collect locally to $1.50 per assessed $1,000. This resulted in shortfalls for 253 of the state’s 295 districts.

Voters who live within VPS’ boundaries approved an education and operations levy in February 2019. The rate was $1.50 per assessed $1,000.

In 2019, state legislators voted to raise the cap to $2.50. If approved, the supplemental levy would augment the education and operations levy at a combined estimated rate of $1.93 in 2021.

 

  • The supplemental levy would pay for teacher positions that maintain smaller class sizes.
  • The levy would help schools continue to improve graduation rates and student achievement.
  • It would pay for staff positions not fully funded by the state, including school counselors, nurses, safety and security officers, custodians and maintenance staff.
  • All schools in the district would benefit from the supplemental levy.

Voters have approved a bond measure and levies in recent years. See all the bonds and levies that voters have approved for the district.

Ballots must be returned one of these ways:

  • Postmarked (no stamp required) no later than Election Day, Feb. 11, 2020
  • Returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Feb. 11
  • Returned in person to the elections office at 1408 Franklin St. by 8 p.m. on Feb. 11

A simple majority of yes votes is required for the supplemental levy to pass.

Local tax rates

The estimated 2020 rate for all VPS levies and bonds is $3.36 per assessed $1,000.

If voters approve the supplemental levy, property owners would pay $3.63 per assessed $1,000 in levies and bonds for VPS in 2021. This does not include state school-related taxes. The rate for both local and state school-related taxes is estimated to be $6.45 in 2021.

$0
in VPS levies and bonds in 2021, if supplemental levy approved

VPS is audited annually by the Washington State Auditor’s Office. In May 2019, the district received a clean audit report for the 13th consecutive year.

Related:

There are three ways to register to vote:

  1. Online
  2. In person at the Clark County Elections Office (1408 Franklin St.)
  3. By mail using either a downloaded form or one obtained from public libraries, schools and other locations

Visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections for details on registration.

Traveling or away from home during the election? See your options for voting.

Amount allowed vs. VPS education and operations levies

Ask us a question