Comment history

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An article in the Columbian in 2011 noted that "Clark County has highest property tax levy rate in state:
Drop in values, increase in voter-approved levies result in dubious distinction".

On the other hand, a recent editorial in the Columbian argued persuasively that the replacement school levies are necessary. ( )

For voters to concur, the ballots and accompanying documents need to answer the obvious questions:
1. How much are the current levies that are about to expire?
2. What percentage of total revenue for the school district comes from these levies that are about to expire? (the above cited editorial reported that the expiring levy accounts for 19% of total revenue for the Vancouver school district. What about for the Camas and other school districts? Why isn't this information included with the ballot?)
3. Why is it appropriate for the levy (at least for proposition number 1) to increase each year per $1,000 of assessed value? (Note that for the next several years inflation in assessed values will probably exceed the general rate of inflation as property values recover from the real estate bust).

Finally, it would be ideal if voters could be informed about and compare the annual expenditure per pupil in various local school districts.

I can believe that there are few good alternatives to the renewed levies. However, voters should be provided with better information before making this decision. Hopefully the Columbian will help answer such questions in the coming days.

January 26, 2013 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )