Frequently Asked Questions

Technology and Safety Replacement Levy

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I register to vote?

There are several ways to register to vote, including online, by mail or in person. View all voter registration deadlines for the February 13, 2018 Special Election.

 

Where can I vote?

This election is mail-only. The Thurston County Auditor’s Office plans to mail ballots on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Completed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day on February 13, 2018 or dropped off postage-free in ballot drop boxes located throughout the Olympia School District. For a list of ballot drop box locations, visit the Thurston County Elections Division website.

 

Are there tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities?

Yes. Low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities may qualify for a tax exemption. For more information, visit the Thurston County Assessor’s website or call the Assessor’s Office at (360) 867-2200.

 

Where can I get more information about the Technology and Safety Replacement Levy ballot measure?

Specifics about the ballot measure are included on a Technology and Safety Replacement Levy Election Web page on this district website. For additional information, contact the Olympia School District Communications and Community Relations department at (360) 596-6103 or communications@osd.wednet.edu.


What is a Technology and Safety Replacement Levy?

A Technology and Safety Replacement Levy is a capital levy devoted to covering the gap between state funding and the cost of existing technology and safety costs. Districts may place levy measures for up to four years on the local ballot. The Olympia School District is requesting a four-year replacement to the levy approved by voters in 2014.


Is this a new tax?

The proposed levy is NOT a new tax. The measure on the February 2018 ballot would replace an expiring four-year technology and safety levy approved by Olympia School District voters in February 2014 and adds safety and technology resources.


What would the replacement levy pay for?

The levy would raise an estimated $35.4 million over four years (2019-2022) to fund new and continued technology and safety initiatives including:

 

  • Providing one computer for every student in grades 3-12 and one computer for every two students in K-2.
  • Developing more digital online curriculum, thus reducing the number of books a student carries to and from school.
  • Purchasing enough computers for middle and high school students so each student can be assigned a portable device to take home daily.
  • Expanding assistive technology devices for students with special needs.
  • Expanding internet access at home. Money is budgeted to provide internet support through means such as mobile Wi-Fi “hotspots,” which are essentially compact, portable wireless access points providing internet access to mobile devices like a laptop for students from low-income families.
  • Installing up-to-date classroom display systems, document cameras, and video-conferencing systems.
  • Providing support and training for teachers and other staff as they integrate new technology into classrooms, and teach students how to use technology in a safe, responsible way.
  • Installing a paging and intercom system in schools throughout the district. This would ensure that students and staff are notified of an emergency more quickly and effectively.
  • Updating from analog to digital radios on school buses to improve connectivity, including in far-reaching areas of the district with little or no reception.
  • Adding an identification card system on school buses that records when students get on and off a bus and marks transactions by Global Positioning System (GPS).


The voter-approved 2014 technology and safety levy pays for more than half of the technology expenses in the Olympia School District (52%) and more than a third of safety-related costs (36%).

Despite news reports at the end of the 2017 Legislative session that the state will fully fund basic education beginning in 2019, analysis of the new funding indicates that about one-third of the district’s technology and safety expenses will be state-funded under the new system, according to Jennifer Priddy, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.


What would the proposed replacement levy cost in each of the four years?

The estimated levy rate depends on the final dollar amount of assessed value of property within the school district. Based on information to date from the county assessor’s office, the projected levy rate for the proposed measure is:

2019
Levy Amount: $8,178,296
Estimated Tax Rate: $.87 per $1,000 of assessed valuation

2020
Levy Amount: $8,575,771
Estimated Tax Rate: $.87 per $1,000 of assessed valuation

2021
Levy Amount: 8,895.271
Estimated Tax Rate: $.85 per $1,000 of assessed valuation

2022
Levy Amount
: $9,776,618
Estimated Tax Rate: $.89 per $1,000 of assessed valuation


With the technology and safety levy of $.87 per $1,000 of assessed value projected in 2019, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $18 a month, or $217 a year.

 

What is the combined cost for all Olympia School District voter-approved measures?

The proposed technology and safety levy tax and newly-enacted state schools tax, combined with the voter-approved Olympia School District school construction bonds and maintenance and operations levy, would keep tax rates constant.

The total projected tax rate over the four years would be between $5.25 and $5.26 per $1,000 of assessed valuation — one cent less or equal to the $5.26 tax rate in 2017.

A new state education property tax enacted by the Legislature in 2017 to begin in 2018 will bump up the total district tax in 2018 for one year, and then the total tax will drop in 2019. This increase and then decrease is unrelated to this proposed technology and safety replacement levy, which would not start collection until 2019.

 

How many votes are required by state law to pass a school levy?

School levies require a majority vote — 50 percent plus one, to pass.