Existing levy discussed by Othello School Board

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OTHELLO — The maintenance and operations levy, and how much it will cost property owners in 2019, was a topic of discussion at the Othello School Board meeting Oct. 12.

School district voters approved a three-year levy in 2017, but the state legislature made substantial changes to the rules for local levies in 2018. Beginning in 2019, districts can levy a maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Lisa Pearce, the executive director of business services, estimated the district would receive about $2.1 million in 2019. The levy approved in 2017 authorized $3.2 million.

The board approved a resolution asking that the district’s assessed property value be revised to reflect the changes to property values in 2018. The budget, passed in August, included the 2017 property values.

Board member Tony Ashton said he didn’t want district patrons to think the resolution was some kind of new tax, or an addition to an existing tax. Pearce said it was requested by ESD 123, in order to allow the updating of assessed property values.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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