Board Votes to Run February School Bond, Cost to Taxpayer Dramatically Reduced

The Snoqualmie Valley School Board voted Thursday night, October 9, 2014, to run a comprehensive school bond on the February 2015 ballot.

The 4-1 vote, the board instructed Superintendent Aune to construct a resolution for a $244 million bond, with instruction that the expected (approximate) $22 million in state matching funds be used to pay down that total bond debt to reduce taxpayer burden.

Comprehensive Bond

The February bond will rebuild and enlarge Mount Si High School for 2,300 students; reopen Snoqualmie Middle School; construct a new elementary school on Snoqualmie Ridge; make needed improvements/upgrades at other SVSD facilities.

The cost of bond increased from last year’s $225 million estimate due to inflation and new demographer’s estimates for future high school enrollment, which increased the size of the building to accommodate 2,300 students.

Dramatically Reduced Bond Tax Rate

It was announced as good news during the meeting that the tax rate for the bond was dramatically decreased – by almost half.

This decrease reduces the cost to individual taxpayers/homeowners from earlier estimates. Last year the district estimated the bond tax rate for homeowners to be over $2 per every $1,000 in assessed value. The newest figure is now $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Last year for example, for a Snoqualmie Valley home with an assessed value of $375,000, the bond cost was $775 per year or $65 per month. This year, assessed values in King County have increased about 15-20%, so that same home is now valued around $450,000. But with the new, lower bond tax rate, that same home’s cost is now 30% lower at $540 per year ($45 per month) – even with the home’s higher valuation.

The reason for the big tax rate reduction was due to an increase in the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s total assessed value – attributed to the post-recession economic recovery and the hundreds of new homes built and added to the district’s tax base. As new homes are built, there are more taxpayers to share in the total cost of potential school bonds.

At the October 23, 2014, school board meeting, the formal school bond resolution will be presented for board approval.

What Will it Cost Me?

Wondering what this bond will potentially cost you as a homeowner and/or taxpayer? Here’s how to do it with the new, lower tax rate:

  • Find the King County assessed value for your home, example: $400,000
  • Divide that value by 1000, example: 400,000 / 1000 = 400
  • Multiple that by the tax rate of 1.20, example  400 x  1.20 = 480
  • Homeowner/Taxpayer Cost =  $480 per year or $40 per month

[*** With the previous, higher tax rate, the above cost scenario would’ve been about $825 per year, or a 40% higher cost ***]

 

Comments

  1. Kindra Perkins says

    This is the best bond option put forth so far. I just reviewed the details on the school district website and find this proposed comprehensive bond to offer the most bang for our bucks. It just makes sense to address all of the most critical areas with long-term solutions instead of stop-gap measures year after year. I will definitely be voting yes and look forward to seeing our kiddos benefit.

  2. it’ll cost you far more when your property values stay low due to bad schools

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