EP&O Levy Question and Answer
Q. Didn’t FWPS just run a bond? Why is the district running an EP&O levy?
Both bonds and levies are local funding sources that serve different functions. Bonds are for construction and building of new schools. Levies on the other hand support learning such as educational programs and staffing to adequately support schools’ and scholars’ needs.The Federal Way community has supported the EP&O levy since 1980. This is not a new tax. This has been an ongoing commitment by communities residing in our district including Federal Way and portions of three other cities including Des Moines, Auburn and Kent, and areas of unincorporated King County.This levy is 10 percent of the overall budget and funds approximately 300 staff positions beyond what the state provides. For example, the state funds 3.5 nurses, and the EP&O levy funds the remaining 19 positions needed to adequately care for our scholars.
Q. What will happen with my taxes?
Your taxes will decrease. Beginning in 2019, local property owners will see a 37 percent decrease with the replacement EP&O levy. The tax rate will decrease to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. This means the average homeowner will pay about $570 LESS starting in 2019.
Q. What happens if the replacement EP&O levy doesn’t pass?
The EP&O levy makes up 10 percent of the district’s budget. The replacement levy would be $33 million a year. If the levy is not approved the district would lose funding for approximately 300 essential staff like classroom teachers, nurses, security staff, counselors, and bus drivers. FWPS would also lose funding for special education and English Language Learner services, athletics, music offerings and after school programs.