FIVE-YEAR LOCAL OPTION OPERATING LEVY RENEWAL

QUESTION : Shall the District renew its $1.39 levy per $1,000 of assessed value to support operations for five years beginning 2010-11? This measure may cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.

SUMMARY: In November 2004, voters approved a renewal and increase of the local option levy at a maximum rate of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value, which expires in June 2010. This measure would renew the levy at the same maximum rate of $1.39.

The Lake Oswego School District would use levy proceeds to continue supporting educational programs and services provided by the expiring levy. The levy would provide approximately 12% of the District's annual operating resources.

A rate of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value is estimated to raise $7,200,000 in 2010-11, $7,400,000 in 2011-12, $7,600,000 in 2012-13, $7,800,000 in 2013-14, and $8,000,000 in 2014-1 5, for a total of $38,000,000 over five years.

The amount of revenue the District could 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.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This levy would renew at the same rate the five-year local option operating levy approved by voters in November 2004. This renewal levy would begin in July 2010, at the current rate that would continue to cost property owners $1.39 or less per $1,000 of assessed value per year. The local option levy would provide the Lake Oswego School District with approximately 12% of its annual budget for instruction, programs, and operating expenses.

How Much
The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 would continue to pay approximately $35 per month or $417 per year for the local option levy.

Beginning in July 2010, property would be taxed at the same rate as the current local option levy of $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value, and Lake Oswego School District taxpayers would see an overall reduction in their tax rates for schools. This is because in June 2010, the district will be retiring debt of approximately $0.25 per thousand of assessed value from its 1990 facilities bond. Legislation also limits the amount of revenue the Lake Oswego School District could 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, rate reductions are expected in years two through five of the local option period.

Why
State law gives individual communities the ability to supplement state funding for their local schools. The current local option levy (expiring June 2010) provides approximately 12% of the district's budget for Instructional programs and operations. If the local option levy were not renewed, reductions in district programs and operations of approximately $7 million, or approximately 12% of total expenditures, would be made beginning in 2010-11.

What
When the first local option levy was approved in 2000, it allowed the district to add back some of the resources previously downsized and to upgrade both instructions and programs, 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. The current local option levy, approved by voters in November 2004, maintains these upgrades, and combined with state school support and LOSD Foundation revenues, has allowed the district to add additional teaching positions, make further reductions in class sizes, and increase program offerings.

Renewal of the local option levy (Measure 3-305) would provide resources to sustain the level of programs and services provided by the current local option levy, assuming that state school support levels did not decrease.

If state school support revenues declined, renewal of the local option levy would allow the district to minimize reductions.

Submitted by:

Deborah Lopardo
School Board Chairperson
Lake Oswego School District No. 7J


No argument FOR or AGAINST this measure were filed.