The City Council is holding a public hearing tonight on the proposed renewal of the Families and Education Levy. Sign-in for public comment will be available at Council Chambers (second floor of City Hall at 600 Fourth Avenue) starting at 5:00pm. The hearing begins at 5:30pm.
In 2007, Seattle voters approved a $117 million, seven year renewal of the original levy first approved in 1990 and renewed in 1997. The expanded goals of the 2004 renewal included preparing children for long-term academic success, high school graduation, and to be college- or career-ready.
Council passed Resolution 31206 last April, which structured the schedule of the levy renewal plan and created an extended levy oversight committee which would make recommendations regarding the renewal. The 24-member committee includes 20 citizen members, the School Board President, a School District representative, a representative of the Mayor, and the Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety & Education Committee.
Earlier this month, Mayor Mike McGinn transmitted the levy proposal to Council for review. The proposed Council Bill would levy $231,562,000 over seven years to continue the goals identified in 2004 and expand them to include reducing the achievement gap.
As structured now, the renewal would add $0.27 per $1,000 of assessed value of additional taxes and cost the owner of a home with the 2012 average residential assessed value of $462,000 approximately $124 per year.
City Council must now choose whether or not to move forward with the levy. If we decide to proceed, the next decision is to determine the amount levied and place it on the ballot for November’s general election.
Tonight’s hearing in Council Chambers will include time for public testimony, and we encourage you to share your thoughts with us via email or telephone if you can’t join us in person.