Tuesday, May 24, 2022
May 24, 2022

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Ballots due for Evergreen, Ridgefield voters today

By , Columbian staff writer

Today marks the final day of ballot collections for a special election that features two key school funding measures in Clark County: a crucial replacement levy for Evergreen Public Schools and a construction bond for the Ridgefield School District.

Evergreen’s proposed operations and maintenance levy would replace the district’s current levy when it expires at the end of this year.

Like past levies, the proposed measure would fund several critical health programs and positions not fully supported with state dollars, such as nurses and counselors. The levy also provides funding for a handful of extracurricular programs for students, like athletics and performing arts.

Since the proposal last failed at the hands of voters in February’s special election, Evergreen has tweaked the measure — now asking for a three-year levy at $1.70 per $1,000 of assessed value for all three years, the same tax rate that those living within district boundaries are currently paying.

When coupled with a previously approved bond measure and technology levy, voter approval of today’s levy would result in a total lower school tax rate from $3.79 per $1,000 of assessed property value to a projected $3.68 in 2023, $3.48 in 2024 and $3.48 in 2025.

Ridgefield, however, has not made changes to its proposed measure since its failure in February. Officials and supporters argue that the longer the bond is pushed along, the more expensive it will ultimately be.

The $62.5 million general obligation bond would pay to build a new elementary school and expand Ridgefield High School — two projects intended to combat the intense population growth Ridgefield and its schools have seen in the last decade.

If voters approve the bond, collections would begin in 2023 at a projected rate of $3.44 per $1,000 assessed value.

The measure requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

As of Monday, 29,571 ballots had been received —amounting to 26.37 percent of eligible voters for the two measures.

Just 29.67 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in Clark County’s Feb. 8 special election.

Results are expected to be available on clarkvotes.org around 8:15 p.m. tonight and online at columbian.com shortly thereafter.

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