BG school levy fails backers look to April

first_imgVoters OK levies for Vancouver school districtBattle Ground Public Schools failed to pass a replacement four-year maintenance and operations levy Tuesday night.But in spite of the failure, the levy’s backers say they’ve set their sights on the April ballot, when they’ll try again to pass the levy.Out of the five maintenance and operations levies to appear on the county’s February ballot, Battle Ground’s was the only one to fail. La Center, Camas, Ridgefield and Vancouver all passed their M&O levies. Vancouver and Camas also passed technology levies, while La Center failed to pass a first-time capital fund levy for sports facilities.The mood was somber at the Mill Creek Pub, where Battle Ground’s levy supporters gathered to watch the election results.John Idsinga, president of the Battle Ground School Board, said he was in “shell shock” following the release of the election results. The levy failed with more than 55 percent of district voters casting a “no” vote.“What we’re asking for is what we need,” Idsinga said. “This is the minimum amount we need.”The levy would have raised the district’s tax rate by 25 cents in 2014. For district residents, that would have meant a tax rate of $4.49 per $1,000 of assessed home value, which would have generated about $24.42 million in revenue for the district.Residents would have paid $898 in 2014 for a home valued at $200,000, a $50 increase over what they’re paying in 2013.Superintendent Shonny Bria said the district has a history of successfully running levies twice.The Battle Ground School Board will readdress the levy at a meeting later in the month.Still, a second failure could drastically affect the district’s revenue moving forward, officials said. Not only would Battle Ground, Clark County’s geographically largest school district, lose about 20 percent of its operating revenue, it would also lose an additional $6.1 million in levy equalization funds from the state.last_img read more