Property tax relief is on the way!
Thanks to the McCleary ruling and legislative action, relief from the over-reliance on local levies to support public education is on its way. Beginning in 2019, local property owners will pay LESS for local school levy funding approved by Federal Way Public Schools’ (FWPS) voters. The local school levy, commonly referred to as the Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy, declines by approximately $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2019. This means for every $100,000 of assessed valuation, taxes will be reduced by about $200.
The “McCleary Fix” impacts every school district differently. However, one thing that is common across districts is that the new funding formulas won’t keep pace with inflation.
For example, this year the Consumer Price Index for our area indicates costs have risen by 3.1 percent. As a result of the “McCleary Fix”, net revenues were increased by 1.9 percent. This means costs will rise faster than revenues, and this gap will result in significant budget reductions as early as the 2019–20 school year.
FWPS has a long track record of strong financial stewardship, including keeping promises to voters, maintaining strong internal controls and securing strong credit ratings. We are grateful for our community’s collective commitment to bringing out the best in each of the 23,000 scholars in our care, and we will continue to keep our community informed about school funding impacts in Federal Way Public Schools.
If you have specific questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (253) 945-2043.
Sally McLean is Chief Finance and Operations Officer for Federal Way Public Schools.