Why is it a Replacement Levy?

By law, Educational Programs and Operations levies can be approved for a maximum of four years. Like a magazine subscription, levies expire after the allotted number of years. School districts must go back to their voters and ask for a continuation, or renewal of levy dollar support. That’s why the district uses the term “Replacement Levy.”


The North Mason is a good steward of the public’s money.

NMSD continues to commit to keeping its tax rate promises. The tax rate for the Replacement Levy will be approximately $2.36 per $1,000 assessed valuation each year, beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2024.

What does the Replacement Levy pay for?

Because state and federal dollars do not fully pay for the programs, staff and supplies needed to adequately educate our students, the North Mason School District depends on levy dollars to help pay for:  


  • Student Safety & Security - $1,350,000 - School Resource Officer, alarm monitoring, building inspections, pest control, electronic door locks, ID badging system, visitor management system, security system, insurance, maintenance, and custodial services.
  • Instructional Support Services - $2,176,000 - Teacher coaching, MTSS, AVID, Art, music, paraeducators, early kindergarten, preschool
  • Extracurricular / Athletics - $280,129 - Athletic coaches, equipment, fees/dues, bus/van travel to games
  • Food Service - $330,000 - Food, equipment, staffing
  • School Counseling / Nursing Services - $400,000 - School counselors and nursing staff
  • Transportation$530,000 - Bus drivers and mechanics
  • Special Education - $920,000 - Specialist including; Speech/Language, Occupational, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, out-of-district placement fees, paraeducators, and student equipment


What does the Replacement Levy mean to our schools?

The Replacement Levy provides funds for the day-to-day operations of the district’s educational programs, bridging the difference between the funding provided by the state and the cost of meeting the educational needs of our students. Levy dollars fill this gap – a full 16.4% of the district’s annual budget.




How much is the levy?

To replace our current levy collection, which expires in December 2020, we are seeking $2.36 per $1000. This is a replacement levy that is the same amount voters approved in 2016 which will allow us to maintain program funding for the next four years. This will provide the district between $5.6 and $5.9 million dollars in the first year. In 2021, this will provide 16.4% of the district budget. In 2016, levy dollars supported 18.7% of the district budget.



What will the increase be for a house valued at $300,000?

The current collection rate for 2020 is $1.99 due to property values having increased since 2016. For example, if the levy is approved the increase in 2021 on a house valued at $300,000 would be calculated with the following formula: {($300,000/$1,000) x 0.37}/12= $9.25 a month increase.


2020 Replacement Levy Increase at $2.36/$1000 of Assessed Home Value


Assessed Home Value





Divided by $1000





Multiple by $0.37 (increase over current rate)





Divided by 12 months





Increase per month








What about the McCleary fix?

When the State Supreme Court found in 2011 that Washington has a constitutional mandate to amply fund education, it was expected that state funding would replace the need for local levies to support educational programs. However, funding is a complicated issue with which our legislature is still wrestling. When the legislature ‘fully funded’ education in response to this decision, they funded a specific staffing formula. This formula does not support everything needed to run our schools. For example, it provides funding in North Mason for 3.8 employees to take care of grounds, maintenance and facilities. It takes more than 18 employees to do this work. That means the district must fund the remaining 15 positions with local levy dollars. This is just one example of the funding gap. We are not fully funded in any category and still need to assess and collect levy dollars to meet the needs of our students and our schools.



What does the levy buy?

Over one half of the levy goes into classroom services that are not funded at all or underfunded by the state. This includes student safety, instructional technology, curriculum materials, professional development for staff, co-curricular activities, gifted and remedial education programs, and instructional supplies and materials. The remaining half goes toward items seriously underfunded by the state: special education, transportation, custodial and maintenance, and athletics. There is no state funding for athletics.



North Mason School District is asking voters to renew our expiring Educational Programs & Operations Levy this upcoming February 11, 2020. This is NOT a new tax. The rate for this replacement levy will be $2.36 per $1,000 assessed valuation.