Two years ago, Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco passed the current Maintenance and Operations that is set to expire at the end of the year. Levy funds are used to support programs that are otherwise not covered for by the state. On February 13th, a vote for the next levy for each city is taking place, and all of the school districts urge people to vote for the Educational Programs levy. It will help pay for programs such as athletics, extracurricular activities, health, and much more. But what does this mean for tax payers?

The Educational Programs levy is a replacement for the Maintenance and Operations levy rather than a new tax. The biggest change is the reduction of property tax; for every $1000 of assessed property value, the change will be:

This reduction is a response to a statewide increase of $0.81 per $1000, changing the way that education and related programs are funded. The state is also enforcing a limit on local levies, as relying too much on local levies had been deemed unconstitutional by a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court. Make sure you register to vote!