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Nespelem school to seek levy


Nespelem School District will ask voters to support a four-year levy in February.

The school board voted Monday night to pass a resolution for the $36,000 levy, which would replace the current operations and maintenance levy and gain the tiny district state “levy equalization” funds that would likely total more than a million dollars over the four years.

The levy, proposed by Superintendent Rich Stewart, would remain at $36,000 each year and not increase, with a tax rate of about $2.49 per $1,000 of assessed value on real property.

Stewart said the funds, totaling about $250,000 over the four years, should be used to provide professional training for staff and support a “highly capable” student program.

The school board had admonished Stewart to be sensitive to the district’s few taxpayers when figuring the amount to seek.

The current levy, passed in 2012, is for $34,000 and had increased each year, having started at $25,000 and about $1.15 per thousand.

Stewart said the state is considering tightening the levy lid and reducing the amount due to districts through levy equalization, the state’s method of helping poorer districts with little taxable property value.

“I don’t want to leave the district short in those areas,” he said, proposing an amount that would hedge against state reductions that could impact education for the district’s 110 students.

The district will hold public forums on the subject before the February vote.

The last levy passed with voter approval of 68 percent.

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