Voters approve SVSD levies

Voters appear to have approved both of the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s replacement levies, according to results from King County Elections.

The district’s Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy has received approval by 55.7%, while its technology levy received approval by 56.6%, as of Feb. 8. Election results are not finalized until Feb. 18, but are unlikely to change.

Both current district levies, passed in 2018, were set set to expire at the end of 2022, and required voter approval for replacements. The new levies will be in effect from 2023 to 2026.

Levies collect property taxes which are used to supplement school services or technology that are underfunded — or not funded — by state dollars. The EP&O levy alone accounts for nearly 20% of district expenditures.

The EP&O levy primarily funds staff salaries and benefits. It also funds nearly 90% of the district’s extracurriculars, including sports, in addition to 88% of its nursing staff and nearly a quarter of its special education program.

The EP&O levy also includes funding for career and technical education, advanced placement courses and middle school art, music, language and math courses. It also provides funding for extra counselors and extra math and reading specialists at the elementary level.

The technology levy supports hardware, software, and professional technology staff. It funds laptops for all students in grades 6-12 and additional devices for elementary students. It also funds tech support for staff, software updates, building security and K-5 programming courses.

In 2022, the EP&O tax collected $16.9 million in funding, or about $1.50 per $1,000 in property value.

The newly approved EP&O levy would collect around $20.5 million in 2023, and rise to $23.4 million in 2026. That is an estimated tax rate between $1.59 and $1.48 per $1,000, respectively.

The Tech levy collected $5.25 million in 2022, about 45 cents per every $1,000. The proposed levy would collect about $8 million in 2023 and rise to $9.8 million in 2026 — an estimated 62 cents per every $1,000.