- There are 29,000 people in the school district. Of those, 22,000 are voters.
- The proposed bond is $54,000,000. ($54 million). The bond will be issued over a 20-year period. There is an estimated $30,000,000 ($30 million) rate on the bond, at an average interest rate of 4%. The payback on the bond, therefore, will be approximately $84,000,000.00 ($84 million).*
- Divided by 29,000 people in the district (including children), this will be a bill of $2,896.55 per person, man, woman and child.
- HOWEVER, the bond is placed in addition to real estate taxes. The tax rate will be $2.16 per $1,000 of assessed value. The average value in the school district is $246,000.00.* That would be an annual charge in your tax bill of $531.36 over and above all the other real estate taxes and fees you are already paying.
- Over the past 40 years state property taxes have risen 2.2 times more than inflation and M&O levies have risen 2.8 times more than inflation, while student performance is flat or declining.
- Tenants, don’t think you’re getting away from paying. Owners will have to increase the rent to cover this additional payment in their taxes.
- The current levy has not yet been paid off. It is currently $1.60 per $1,000 of value. (On a $246,000 value, the tax is $393.60.)
- The new bond levy would INCREASE the school taxes you pay by 35% each year, for 20 years.
- There are currently 2,600 enrolled students. This is DOWN from 10 years ago, when the number of students was at 2,900.* That’s a REDUCTION in student population by 10.3%.
- The total bond levy (approx. $84 million, with interest), divided by the number of current students, is approx. $32,307.69 per student over 20 years (or $1,615.38 per student, per year).
- Class size in elementary school is from 17-29 children.*
- Class size in high school is from 18-40 kids (the high numbers represent those in P.E. and band), not the regular classrooms.*
- Students pay NO fees.*
- Total salaries for the 366 employees in the Sequim School District equal $13,649,095.00. (An average of $5,249.65 per student just in salaries.)
- Over 90% of the staff are represented by Unions. No contribution is being considered by staff or unions.
- If the levy fails, there will be larger class sizes.
- Because of the size of this proposed bond, contractors will be hired from outside our area. Broken down into smaller more practical project bonds, local contractors and businesses can be involved in the work, keeping the money LOCAL.
*According to Brian Lewis, Business Manager for the Sequim School District:
- Social Security remains stagnant, with no cost of living increases.
- Unemployment remains high.
- Cost of living expenses continue to skyrocket.
- And folks are saying “we can’t ‘afford’ any more taxes.
- We all want to provide students with essential requirements that include healthy and safe facilities. We know the school board’s Plan A should not be the solution and the only way ahead.
- We can establish a Plan B, relying on frugal renovation and repair, using local contractors and local construction workers.
- We believe that when voters have the facts about an issue, most will make a wise decision for our kids and community.