Camas School Board bumps up levy rate

Increase does not go over total OK'd by voters in 2017

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Coming off the heels of a 2019-20 budget season that included a $8.6 million deficit, the Camas School Board on Monday voted to increase the district’s 2020 enrichment levy rate.

The 65-cent increase — from $1.50 per $1,000 assessed property value (APV) to $2.15 per $1,000 APV — means the district will not go over the local-plus-state education tax rate Camas School District voters approved in 2017, but also means the new levy rate likely won’t cover the district’s expected deficit in 2020-21.

“We have looked at this issue and studied it for months,” said Board member Corey McEnry. “I feel comfortable with the level of analysis that went into it … $2.15 does the best job of balancing our priorities while also being good stewards of taxpayers’ money.”

The Board could have kept the levy rate at $1.50 per $1,000 APV and collected no additional revenues or bumped it up to $2.50 per $1,000 APV and added $3.27 million to the 2019-20 budget and another $2.95 million to the 2020-21 budget.

Instead, the Board opted for a middle-of-the-road option that will bring in additional revenues while still keeping the total for the local enrichment levy plus state education taxes at the $5.04 combined rate voters approved in 2017.

Board member Erika Cox said she appreciated the work of community