Rise in total assessed valuation lowers school levy collection rate

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board voted to lower their levy rate back down to $2.22 per $1,000 of assessed valuation after discovering the total assessed valuation for school district has increased $80 million to $439 million.

“With the new assessed valuation we found out it allowed us to drop back down to $2.22 and still increase our revenue,” Paul Turner, superintendent, said. “For the community, it allowed us to maintain the same tax rate and generate more funding.”

According to the new resolution on the replacement maintenance and operations levy, since the valuation of Tonasket has increased so much, lowering the rate to $2.22 will still bring in $974,801 for each of the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years.

“The school board talked about the need to continue looking at the local tax burden and the board felt maintaining the same tax rate was the right thing to do,” Turner said. “Getting the news that our assessed valuation went up so we could lower the levy rate back down to $2.22 and still bring in more revenue is kind of exciting; it’s good news for once.”

As of Monday, March 15, Turner said the legislature was likely to go into a special session, since they did not meet their Friday, March 12 deadline to put out their budgets. This special session puts the school district in the position of still not knowing exactly what sort of funding they will receive from the state but he reiterated that bringing in more money with the lower levy rate is very positive for the district.

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