Frequently asked questions about the 2020 levy

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).

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:

  • The supplemental levy will pay for teacher positions that maintain smaller class sizes.
  • The levy will help schools continue to improve graduation rates and student achievement.
  • It will continue to 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 will benefit from the supplemental levy.

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.

Later in 2019, state legislators voted to raise the cap to $2.50.

In February 2020, local voters approved a supplemental levy to augment the education and operations levy.

The rate for both local and state school-related taxes is estimated to be $6.45 in 2021.

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.

A home assessed at $350,000 would pay an estimated $150 for the first year.

The math:

350,000 ÷ 1,000 = 350

350 × 43 cents =  $150

Changes in Washington state’s funding model for K-12 education 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 faced another multimillion-dollar deficit for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, absent new funding, and asked voters to consider a supplemental levy to support current levels of programs and services. Voters approved the supplemental levy in February 2020.

In February 2020, voters approved the following amounts:

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

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

Amount allowed vs. VPS education and operations levies

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