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Local Option Levy Renewed for 2015–2020

Thanks to voters for renewing school funding!

On November 4, 2014, voters in Eugene School District 4J overwhelmingly passed Measure 20-222, renewing the local option levy that helps fund the day-to-day operations of our schools. This support makes a tremendous difference for every 4J school.


 

Local Option Levy Renewal on November 2014 Ballot

Levy renewal would continue local funding for school operations without raising the tax rate 

This fall, residents of Eugene School District 4J will vote on whether to renew a five-year local option levy and continue to provide an estimated $8 million per year to fund 4J school operations without increasing the tax rate.

Ballot Measure 20-222
Eugene School District 4J local option levy renewal:

  • Renews the local option levy for schools with no change in tax rate
  • Provides about $8 million each year to fund school operations
  • Equivalent to about 80 teachers or 16 school days
  • Ballots mailed Oct. 17, due by Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.

 4J_2014_LocalOptionLevy_Infographic_rounded

 

What is the local option levy?

The Eugene School District local option levy is a property tax that provides money for 4J school operations, including staff and programs. Under Oregon property tax law, a local option levy is the one tool the school district has to allow the community to increase funding for local school operations.

The 4J local option levy has been approved by voters three times, beginning in 2000. The current levy expires in 2015.

Ballot Measure 20-222, on the November 2014 election ballot, would renew the local option levy at the same tax rate for another five years, through June 2020.

The local option levy currently provides about $8 million per year, equivalent to about 80 teaching positions or 16 school days. If the levy is renewed it is expected to continue providing about $8 million in school funding each year. Without this levy, the school district would need to reduce its operating budget by about 5 percent beginning in fall 2015.

 

How would the levy money be spent?

Renewal of the levy would provide funds to maintain school days, school programs, staffing levels and class sizes to the extent possible. 100% of levy proceeds stay in the Eugene School District and fund public school operations.

To make ends meet during the recession, 4J schools have canceled school days, increased class sizes at every level, laid off staff in schools and central offices, negotiated compensation concessions and cut program offerings. The local option levy has allowed 4J schools to maintain a level of educational opportunities that would not be possible if state funding levels were the district’s sole source of revenue.

 

How is the local option levy different from a capital bond, like 4J voters passed last year?

The local option levy pays for operations: staff, programs, utilities and other daily operating costs. By law, bond funds can only be spent on buildings, instructional materials and other capital items.

 

What would you pay?

Property owners would continue to pay about the same amount as they do now. Renewing the levy would continue the current property tax rate for the Eugene School District local option levy, a maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

No one can pay more than $1.50 per $1,000, and most taxpayers pay less. Due to Oregon’s property tax limits, owners of each property pay a different amount, depending on the difference between the assessed value and the real market value. The average rate in property owners’ 2013 tax bills was $0.63 per $1,000.

To see how much you pay, check your 2014 tax statement and look under “Current Tax By District” for “Eugene School District LO.” If the levy is renewed, you would continue to pay about the same amount. Or, for an estimate, use this worksheet. Changes in your property’s real market value and/or assessed value may affect the amount of your taxes.

 

What if the local option measure doesn’t pass?

If the levy were not renewed before the current levy expires in June 2015, the district would have to reduce its annual budget by about $8 million beginning in the 2015–16 school year. The school board could decide to submit another levy renewal proposal to voters in the spring, while preparing a plan to significantly reduce costs if the measure failed. The district’s budget committee and the school board would hold public hearings before making decisions about how to reduce the budget.

 

Who can vote on this measure:
Eugene School District 4J residents

Voter registration deadline:
October 14

Ballots mailed:
beginning October 17

Ballots due to Lane County Elections or a ballot drop box:
November 4, 8 p.m.

Learn more:
4J Communications Office, 541-790-7737

Printable PDF to save or share: 
Measure 20-222 Information Sheet

Información en español

 

This information was reviewed and approved by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office for compliance with ORS 260.432.