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Riverview School District
2022 Replacement Levy FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)

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The Riverview School District wants our community informed on the upcoming Replacement Levy elections on the February 8, 2022 ballot. Riverview School District will be asking voters to consider approval of two replacement levies:

Proposition #1: Educational Programs and Operations (EP & O)

Proposition #2: Technology and Capital Projects

Here is a list of common, frequently asked questions regarding levies, levy elections, and other details around the levy process and Riverview's upcoming levy propositions for the February 2022 election.

Q: What is a school levy?

A: School levies are local property taxes, approved by voters of a school district. Levies generate revenue to fund programs and services the state does not fund, or fully fund, as part of a student's basic education.

Levies are crucial in maintaining the services, educational opportunities, technology, and staffing required for our students to achieve success. Every four years, the Riverview School District, and districts across the state, ask voters to renew levies to continue to provide educational experiences that our students, staff, and families expect and deserve.

Q: You say these are "replacement levies." Are these new taxes I'm being asked to pay?

A: Replacement levies are not new taxes, they are replacements for current levies scheduled to expire. Riverview School District's existing levies were approved by voters in 2018 and expire at the conclusion of 2022. Collection for these replacement levies will occur in 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026. 

Q: Have voters in the Riverview School District supported school levies in the past?

A: Yes. The Riverview School District has had community support for school levies consistently over time. The Educational Programs & Operations Levy has passed continually since 1992, while the Technology & Capital Projects levy has passed continually since 2004.

Q: How much will this cost me?

A: A levy rate is the amount of property tax voters approve to be assessed for every $1,000 of property value. A spreadsheet of tax rates per $1,000 Assessed Value is available by clicking here.

In 2020, the King County Assessor's Office shared that median home prices in Carnation are $493,000, while Duvall median home prices are $551,000. 

Schools do not receive more money as property values increase. Levies are based on a fixed dollar amount, not a percentage of assessed property value. When voters approve a levy, they authorize the school district to collect a fixed dollar amount. As property values increase, and more people share in paying that fixed amount, the combined local tax rate for schools stays about the same or often decreases. If property values decrease, then the opposite happens because of the fixed dollar amount to be collected.

Q: Are there tax exemptions for senior citizens or disabled persons?

A: Yes.  Homeowners aged 61 or over, those permanently retired due to a disability, as well as some veteran families, may be eligible for a property tax deferral or exemption from local voter-approved property taxes, including school levies and bonds.  

The Washington State Legislature recently changed its eligibility requirements for exemption and deferral programs, so be sure to check their website for details to learn if you  qualify:

If you have questions, please call the King County Assessor’s Office at 206-296-3920.

Q: What are some specifics these levies will pay for in Riverview School District?

A: Most of the levy funds are used to add and support staffing needs across most programs in our district. For example, in terms of staffing, levy dollars pay for Student Safety Officers (SSOs), several members of our district nursing team, custodians, Educational Assistants (EAs), some teachers, specialists (Music, Art, Physical Education), counselors, coaches, advisors, support staff, and our entire Technology team (outside of the Director position).


Levy dollars touch a multitude of programs including special education services, safety and security needs,  Summer School opportunities, Highly Capable programs, and basic education needs including smaller class sizes and more.

Additionally, levy dollars support learning technology (software licensing, student devices, classroom upgrades), enhance school safety and network infrastructure, sustain necessary technology staffing, while also providing training related to the integration of technology. In addition, the replacement levies support ongoing maintenance and building improvements, the addition of portable classrooms, and make other capital project expenditures possible, as deemed necessary by the School Board of Directors. 

Q: Why is this not handled through simply one levy request?

A: School districts can seek levy funding in three distinctive ways. 

Enrichment levies, also known as Educational Programs and Services (EP&O), allow a school district to provide things like teachers, support staff, supplies and materials, or services that the state only partially funds. Funding provided by the state does not fully cover the actual costs to operate a school district, so enrichment levies bridge the gap in funding. Enrichment levies can be approved for up to four years.

Technology and Capital Projects levies fund things like modern technology, technology staffing, software licenses, equipment, enhanced building security, and renovation projects. 

Districts can also seek funding through Transportation levies. Voters approved a two-year Transportation levy in 2018. With our district's bus fleet on a depreciation schedule, there is no need to replace this particular levy in the February 2022 election.

Q: How much of a school district's budget do levies contribute or "pay for?"

A: For the Riverview School District, levies make up approximately 18% of our annual operating budget.

Q: What happens if the Replacement Levies do not pass?

A: These levy propositions are crucial to continuing and maintaining things as they are in Riverview. Without Proposition #1, for example, the district would need to consider massive cuts within one year of the replacement levies not passing. As a result of staffing cuts the district would need to make, Riverview would see programs , after-school activities, and some athletic opportunities potentially cut, with class sizes increasing to a significant degree.

Proposition #2 would see similar cuts made to the technology department and maintenance and operations teams, as those teams would see significant reduction in staff without funding in place to support the programs and operations we have come to expect in Riverview School District. Funding for maintaining buildings and regular, necessary maintenance would be difficult to complete in a timely manner, and facility upgrades would need to be paused or paid for through funds allocated to necessary programs and infrastructure in place.


Q: How are levies approved by voters?

A: Levies need a simple majority of voter approval (50%+) to pass. This is different than Bond elections, which require a supermajority of voter approval, defined as 60%+. 


Q: What percentage of levy dollars are used to pay salaries?

A: Approximately 92% of the expenditures of local funds for the 2020-2021 school year was spent on salaries, benefits, and contracted services. This graphic below shows the Expenditure Breakdown for the EP & O Levy.















Q: What were the total funds allocated pre-McCleary and post-McCleary, as opposed to an overall percentage of funding?

A: The graphics below provide a detailed breakdown of revenue sources, both in a percentage and dollar amount representation, as well as a table showing the general funding sources of revenue. 











































Q: What is the amount of levy dollars from the previous levy, per student, versus the proposed levy dollars per student?

A: Local levy dollars are calculated based on a calendar year (January 1-December 31). Riverview School District collects levy dollars based upon a Per Pupil allocation, which is adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). These funds are collected during Riverview's fiscal year (September 1-August 31).

Beginning in 2019, the Per Pupil allocation amount was set at $2,500 per student by OSPI, and then adjusted starting in 2020 based on the annual CPI rate change. The table below shows the maximum Per Pupil allocation amount for each year of the expiring four-year levy cycle.

OSPI Maximum Per Pupil Enrichment Collection Amount Per Calendar Year








Note: Figures in the chart above are based on a calendar year,
beginning January 1 and ending on December 31.

The estimated Per Pupil allocation for the proposed four-year replacement levy propositions, for years 2023-2026, are based upon the estimated annual CPI rate increase.

OSPI Estimated Maximum Per Pupil Enrichment Collection Amount Per Calendar Year

Note: Figures in the chart above are based on a calendar year,
beginning January 1 and ending on December 31.

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