Lake Oswego School District No. 7J

Measure No. 3-155


QUESTION: Shall the District levy $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value to support instruction and operations for five years beginning 2005-06? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.

SUMMARY: In May, 2000 voters approved a local option levy of $1.18 per $1,000 of assessed value, which expires in June, 2005. This measure renews the levy and increases the rate to $1.39.

The Lake Oswego School District will use levy proceeds to continue supporting educational programs and services provided by the expiring levy, and minimize additional downsizing necessitated by reductions in state school funding.

A rate of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value is estimated to raise $5,650,000 in 2005-06, $5,900,000 in 2006-07, $6,100,000 in 2007-08, $6,350,000 in 2008-09, and $6,600,000 in 2009-10, for a total of $30,600,000 over five years.

The amount of revenue the District can receive under this measure, together with State funding, is capped by law. If changes in property values or other factors create the potential for more revenue than allowed, the District must reduce its rate to stay within cap limits. Under current limits, rate reductions are expected in years two through five of the levy period. The annual rate will not exceed $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value.


The Lake Oswego School District is requesting voter approval of a five year local option operating levly beginning in 2005-06 that woud cost homeowners a maximum of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value per year. The local option levy would provide the lake Oswego School District with approximately $5.7 million per year for instruction, programs, and operatin expenses.

How Much
Legislation limits the amount of revenue the Lake Oswego School District can receive from the local option. If changes in property values or other factors create the potential for more revenue than allowed, the District must reduce its local option tax rate in order to keep revenue within defined limits. Under current limits, reductions are expected in years two through five of the local option period.

Property would be taxed at a maximum rate of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a $300,000 home would pay a maximum of approximately $35 per month or $417 per year for the local option levy.

Property owners currently pay $1.18 per thousand of assessed value for a local option levy that will expire in June 2005. This measure would renew the levy with a rate increase of $.21 per thousand of assessed value. The increase is sought because the cap on allowable local option revenue has been raised. The owner of a $300,000 home would pay a maximum net increase over the current levy of approximately $5.25 per month or $63 per year.

Shortfalls in state revenue for the past four years have caused a decline in state school funding. In 2004-05, state funding is projected to decline by approximately $310 per student from the amount received in 2003-04.

State law gives individual communities the ability to supplement state funding for their local schools.

The district has downsized programs and services significantly as a result of the state revenue shortfall. Reductions have included eliminating days from the school year (2002-03), eliminating teaching, counseling, librarian, support staff, and administrative positions, and raising fees substantially. To fund the 2004-05 school year, the district projects that it will deplete its cash reserves and borrow from its state funding allocation for the 2005-06 school year.

The current local option levy (expiring June 2005) will privide $4.7 million for remaining programs and services in 2004-05. This is approximately 10% of the district’s budget for instructional programs and operations.

State law prohibits the district from using facilities bond proceeds to support instructional and operating expenses.

When the current local option levy was approved in 2000, improvement were made across the district in both instruction and program including lowering class sizes, adding back the seventh period at the middle level, supporting extensive college prep curricula and electives, and supporting fine arts, music, athletics, and after-school activities.

Revenue from this measure would allow the district to support the current level of programs and services and minimize additional downsizing.

Submitted by:
Rich Akerman,
Lake Oswego School Board Chairman

No arguments FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed