What is a bond and how is it different from a levy?
“Bonds are for Building, Levies are for Learning”. Bonds are used for new school construction, renovation of buildings, and land purchases. They’re also used for major repairs & improvements such as new roofs, heating and cooling systems, and safety improvements to our schools. Bonds are voter approved debt. Money from local property taxes would be used to pay back the debt over time. Levies, “for learning,” support the daily education of our students and provide educational programming and opportunities.
What does it take to pass a bond? Is it similar to a levy?
Bonds require a 60 percent supermajority approval to pass, while levies require a simple majority of 50% + 1.
What are the Voter Registration deadlines?
Registration & Voting
• Easy online registration at MyVote Washington
• Voter registration forms at all schools and the WWPS District Office
• October 8, 2018 - Last day for mail, online new registrations and address changes
• October 17, 2018 - Ballots mailed to homes
• October 29, 2018 - Last day for in-person voter registration
• November 6, 2018 – Election (ballots due)
What is the percentage of the bond in relation to the district’s total debt capacity?
The $65.6M bond proposal is less than 40% of the district’s total debt capacity (approx $165M)
What will you do if there are any excess funds?
Any remaining funds will be used to pay down debt and reduce the rate for taxpayers.
How much state match is the district eligible for with this proposal?
The district is eligible for approximately $52.63M in state match funds.
How does the state match process work?
Click HERE for answer.
How will the state match be used differently on this proposal?
All State Match funds will only be applied to Wa-Hi, Pioneer Middle School and Lincoln High School voter-approved projects.
Can bond funds be used for anything other than construction and building upgrades?
No. Money from bond measures is placed in the district’s capital projects fund. Per state law, money from this fund cannot be transferred to other funds or used for unrelated purposes. Monies can only be applied to the capital improvements specifically identified in the Board Resolution and Bond Ballot.
How much will the bond increase my tax rates?
This is programmed to be a replacement bond as Walla Walla Public Schools is bond debt free in December. Conservative estimates related to assessed value growth and tax collections were used in programming assumptions. .
What does the legislator’s McCleary Levy Swap mean for long term state taxes?
The “Levy Swap” legislation will cut local property tax rates.
Click HERE for details.
How was it decided what would be included on the bond?
An 18 member Community Facilities Task Force spent nearly two years prioritizing facility needs. They focused on classroom and learning needs first. They took a renovation-based approach, not building new schools. The bond proposal aligned with community feedback
Am I eligible for an exemption from bond measure property taxes?
Under certain conditions, people with disabilities or citizens 61 years of age or older are eligible for a tax exemption. Consideration is given to income, ownership of taxable residence and other factors. For more information and to apply for an exemption, contact the Walla Walla County Assessor’s office.
Is there money for safety and security enhancements and at what campuses?
Yes, all campuses will see $890,000 in Safety and Security updates and improvements.
• Safety, security and communication/technology network improvements - per safety audit recommendation:
• Unified emergency messaging system, necessary cabling and select communications/intercom upgrades
• Enhanced security camera coverage
• Communications and data connectivity backbone and redundancy (e.g., network ring)
• Limited fencing improvements and access control/emergency lockdown accommodations
Also, the three schools selected for renovation, Wa-Hi, Pioneer MS and Lincoln HS, will see improvements in access and visibility control, communications systems and design.
Why doesn’t the district use the tax dollars it already receives to perform these upgrades?
State only funds basic maintenance and operational costs such as general care, upkeep, and utility costs. Capital improvements and substantial renovations are meant to be paid for with community bonds.
How does the district care for its facilities now?
Annually the WWPS spends more than $5M (about 10% of its general fund budget), supporting its current assets which include ~1 million sq ft of facilities and over 150 acres of grounds, allocating 51 FTE in support of our asset preservation plan.
How can I be assured, if the bond measure passes, that bond proceeds will be spent wisely and on that for which I vote?
The district has established an independent citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee to review construction activities, project costs, and accountability of resources to ensure bond dollars are spent only on the voter approved initiatives.
Bond Oversight Committee members:
• Bonnie Bowton
• Yolanda Esquivel
• Mark Hess
• Lawson Knight
• Kim McDaniels
• Terry McConn
• Jennifer Mouat
• Dick Moeller
• Scott Morasch
• Ken Seibold
• Tony Wenham