Letter: Questions about levies persist
Monday, February 4, 2013
A 2011 story in The Columbian noted that "Clark County has highest property tax levy rate in state: Drop in values, increase in voter-approved levies result in dubious distinction," (http://bit.ly/pCVzlS). On the other hand, a Jan. 20 editorial, "Support local schools," argued persuasively that replacement levies are necessary. For voters to concur, ballots and accompanying documents should answer obvious questions:
How much are the current levies that are about to expire?
What percentage of total revenue for the district comes from these expiring levies? (The editorial reported the expiring levy accounts for 19 percent of total revenue for Vancouver Public Schools. What about other districts? Why isn't this information included with ballots?)
Why is it appropriate for Proposition 1 to increase each year per $1,000 of assessed value? (For the next several years inflation in assessed values will probably exceed inflation as property values recover from the real estate bust).
It would be ideal if voters could be informed about and compare the annual expenditure per pupil in local school districts. I believe there are good alternatives to the renewed levies. Voters should be provided with better information before making this important decision.