Feb. 13 special election: Battle Ground Capital Levy

Area resident Dick Rylander provides a look at the Battle Ground School District Capital Levy on the Feb. 13 special election ballot.
File photo

Area resident Dick Rylander provides a look at the Battle Ground School District Capital Levy on the Feb. 13 special election ballot

Dick Rylander 
for Clark County Today

On Friday (Jan. 26), ballots will be mailed out for the Feb. 13 special election, which includes a Capital Levy for the Battle Ground School District. The Pro/Con/Rebuttal statements can be read online at: Battle Ground School District Proposition No. 7.

This proposition would authorize the district to levy the following excess taxes, on all taxable property within the district, for making district-wide safety, facility and technology improvements (upgrading security, including cameras and entry controls; repairing roofs; improving heating/cooling; upgrading lighting and technology; creating learning spaces for construction trades, culinary, health sciences).

This is a new levy for Battle Ground. Previously the district has asked for (and received) approval from voters for a four-year EP&O Levy (Educational Programs and Operations) that totals about $115 million. Operations monies generally pay for ongoing wear and tear but can also be used to cover personnel compensation not provided by the state of Washington.

Proposition 7 is for a Capital Levy.

What’s the difference between an Operations levy and a Capital levy? The Capital levy money is intended for projects like roof replacement, HVAC, technology and similar longer term assets. An operations levy is intended for short term wear and tear and general operations expenses.

What’s the difference between a Levy, Capital Levy and a Capital Bond? Levy’s require a voter approval of 50 percent plus1 to pass. Capital Bonds are usually for 20-plus years and require a 60 percent voter approval to pass and are used for roofs, HVAC, new schools, remodeling and the like. Capital Levy’s are used for larger expenses but only need 50 percent plus 1 to pass.

The Battle Ground Capital Bond was paid off at the end of 2023. In its place, district officials are asking for this Capital Levy. This new Capital Levy totals $27.7 million and is for three years. At an assessed value of $600,000, the estimated cost to property owners would be about $264 (but the retired capital bond cost goes away).

There is no information regarding whether the district intends to continue this Capital Levy in the future or not. There is also no information as to whether the district will ask for a new Capital Bond in the future. The existing EP&O levy runs out in 2025.

If you are interested in how well students are performing, expenditures per student, enrollment trends, etc., the links below will help you investigate. The OSPI website: Washington State Report Card. An additional source from OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) supplied data can be found at: Battle Ground School District – The School Data Project.

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