Voters in Quincy School District showed strong support for the Quincy School District’s Proposition 1 in the special election that occurred Feb. 8. The first ballot count released by Grant County on Tuesday night showed 61.7% in favor and 38.3% voting against the measure.
The proposition requires at least 50% plus one vote to pass.
The early ballot count Tuesday night pleased QSD’s Superintendent, Dr. Nik Bergman.
“I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative of our community’s continued support for school levies,” Bergman said shortly after the county posted the first results of ballot counting.
A subsequent count Friday showed little change in the voting: 61.1% in favor and 38.9% voting against the measure. The percentages are unlikely to change significantly in any further counts, so Proposition 1, with its substantial margin of yes votes, is all but passed.
The QSD replacement levy proposition was the only item in the special election coming out of Quincy Valley. There were a dozen school levies on the ballot from districts around the county. Election results were mostly in support of the propositions. Royal School District’s levy was on its way to passage Friday with 62.2% of votes in favor.
Wahluke School District’s Proposition 1, also an EP&O levy, was going down to defeat Friday, with 51% voting “no.”
Back in Quincy, the goal, Bergman said, with this replacement levy was to maintain the district’s programs.
“61 is a great number,” Bergman said, referring to the percentage of yes votes for Proposition 1. Quincy voters have supported the last four levies at 60% or higher in his recollection, he said, adding again how much he appreciates the community’s support.
The proposition put forward a levy to replace an expiring levy for educational programs and operations, or an EP&O levy, for the school district.
The proposed levy rate for 2023 through 2026 is an estimated rate of $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That rate is only a cent higher than the expected rate for 2022, and it is lower than the rates of the previous seven or more years.
The rates have dropped dramatically in recent years, falling to less than half of the $2.90 rate in 2015.
Bergman said he expects the trend to continue as the total property value within the district’s boundaries rises. Thus, in future years, the actual rate applied to property may be less than $1.25.
The structure of the levy proposal would bring slowly rising revenue, starting at about $8.4 million in 2023, $8.6 million in 2024, $8.9 million in 2025, and $9.1 million in 2026.
The levy funds go to district operations not funded by the state. According to information from the district, such programs to be funded entirely or in part with levy revenue include: athletics, technology in education, safety, security, counseling, school nursing, highly capable and enrichment programs, arts, music, academic clubs, library programs, transportation, maintenance, special education, textbooks and other instructional material, and early childhood education.
The county plans to certify the election results Feb. 18.