What is a bond and how is it different from a levy?

“Bonds are for Building, Levies are for Learning”.

Bonds are used for new school construction, renovation of buildings, and land purchases. They’re also used for major repairs & improvements such as new roofs, heating and cooling systems, and safety improvements to our schools. Bonds are voter approved debt. Money from local property taxes would be used to pay back the debt over time.

Levies support the daily education of our students. Click HERE for further information on our 2018 levy.

Can bond funds be used for anything other than construction and building upgrades?

No. Money from bond measures is placed in the district’s capital projects fund. Per state law, money from this fund cannot be transferred to other funds or used for unrelated purposes.

How much will I pay for the bond and the levy?

The increase is estimated at $9.75 per month for a home assessed at $300,000.

The information above shows the estimated 2018 tax rate compared to the estimated 2019 rate that includes the renewal levy and new bonds. The increase is estimated at .39 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

What does the increase of 39 cents per $1,000 mean?

Property taxes are estimated at ‘rate per $1,000’ of assessed value. This means in 2019, the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 is estimated to pay $1,368 per year, or $9.75 more per month for (1) the renewal educational programs & operations levy, (2) the current technology levy, and (3) the existing and new bonds.

When was the last time Fife Schools ran a bond?

The last time we ran a bond was 2000. We built Hedden Elementary School and Columbia Junior High School.

How was it decided what would be included on the bond?

We formed a 36 member Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) that worked over 6 months to narrow down the scope of work to be included in the bond. Members of the CFAC include parents, community members, certificated and classified staff, FEA and PSE reps, principals, administrators and consultants. You can view the detailed work of this committee by going to the district website and looking in the Bond tab. Or, you can click here: CFAC Work

What will the grade level configuration be at the new elementary school?

To be determined. As with our last bond in 2000, following the passage of the bond, a committee was formed to study pros/cons of different grade level configurations, using the most current numbers, data, and research.

What does it take to pass a bond? Is it similar to a levy?

Bonds require a 60 percent supermajority approval to pass, while levies require a simple majority of 50% + 1.

Will the ballot have both the bond and the levy? Do I vote twice?

Yes! The bond is separate from the levy. They will be listed as Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.

Am I eligible for an exemption from bond measure property taxes?

Under certain conditions, people with disabilities or citizens 61 years of age or older are eligible for a tax exemption. Consideration is given to income, ownership of taxable residence and other factors. For more information and to apply for an exemption, contact your county assessor’s office, or click here: King CountyPierce County

Where will a new Surprise Lake Middle School be built?

The current plan is to replace SLMS on site, right behind its current location.

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