Levy FAQ's

Pioneer Capital Levy

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What is the date of the levy vote and when will ballots come out?

                Voting day is November 5, 2019.  Ballots will be sent to all Pioneer residents on October 15, 2019.

     

  2. What is this levy for?

                The Capital Levy is the pay back the Shelton School District for improvements made at Shelton High School.  These improvements were made using bond funds and we are, by law, responsible for a portion of those improvements.  Since Pioneer School District is a non-high school district, the majority of our eighth grade graduates attend Shelton High School.  Due to this fact, we are financially responsible for supporting the improvements made at Shelton High School.  This amount is approximately $3.2 million.

     

  3. Why do we have to pay Shelton money for their bond?

                State law allows home districts, Shelton, to charge its non-high districts, Pioneer, Hood Canal, Southside, for sending their high school students to be educated within the home district’s high school.  These are called “non-high fee’s.”  Because most of Pioneer’s eighth graders attend Shelton for high school, we pay a yearly non-high fee.  We can also be charged every time the home school districts make major improvements to the high school properties such as remodels or new construction.

     

  4. How much more will I have to pay if this levy passes?

                Pioneer School District (PSD) is asking its voters to approve an approximate $0.81 per $1000 of property value.  This would be in addition to the already $2.27 raised in local taxes for PSD schools.  This would make the PSD tax total $3.28 per $1000.  In comparison, Shelton School District tax payers pay $4.37 per $1000 for their bonds and levies. 

     

  5. What are we getting for this levy's money?

                Shelton School District has made improvements to Shelton High School (SHS).  These improvements include new classrooms, improved security, new science facilities, 9th grade academy classes, new programs/CTE classes, and improved sporting facilities to name some of the enhancements.  The bottom line is that Pioneer School District (PSD) students attending Shelton High School will be receiving educational and program benefits by attending SHS.  Because of this, Pioneer families/students are benefiting from these improvements.  This Capital Levy represents PSD responsibility to paying for SHS improvements.

     

  6. How do property values factor into school funding models?

                The property value in the Pioneer School District (PSD) is higher than the property value in the Shelton School District (SSD), meaning, and acre in PSD cost more than an acre in SSD.  Due to this fact, the PSD has a lower property tax than the SSD.  If the PSD property tax were the same as SSD, PSD property owners would essentially be paying more in taxes than they would if they lived in the SSD.  If the SSD annexed the PSD, all PSD property owners will see their taxes increase and all property owners in SSD will see their taxes decrease in order to raise the amount of funds needs to run all schools combined.

  7. What happens if we don't pass this levy?

              If the Pioneer School District (PSD) does not pass this Nov. 5, 2019 Capital Levy, the Shelton School District (SSD) could appeal to what is called the “Regional Committee” in order to set the compensation and reimbursement standards, to which PSD will be liable for compensation.  At that point, PSD would have two (2) opportunities to pass a levy in order to raise the funds ordered by the Regional Committee.  If after two failed attempts, SSD could annex the PSD into its district, essentially causing the PSD to lose all local control of its schools.  Along with losing its school district, PSD tax payers would start paying Shelton School District taxes.

     

  8. What are non-high fee's?

                Non-high fee’s are fee’s that a high school district can charge non-high school districts for sending their non-high students to high school.  The cost varies dependent upon the number of students attending the high school.  Pioneer School District pays approximately $280,000 per year in non-high fee’s.

     

  9. Why are we trying to pass this levy when it was defeated two years ago?

              In February of 2018, the Pioneer School District (PSD) tried to pass a Bond for a new high school.  Needing a supermajority (60% plus 1) for passage, the Bond received a 50% approval, meaning, it was defeated.  Because of that defeat, the Pioneer School District is responsible to reimburse the Shelton School District (SSD) for the improvements made at their high school from a 2016 SSD Bond passage. In order to honor this commitment, PSD is running a Capital Levy in order to raise the $3.2 million, which represents PSD’s responsibility for repayment.

     

  10. Where do I go to make sure I am registered to vote?

                To ensure you are registered to vote, go to the website wei.sos.wa.gov/county/mason/en/elections/pages or call (360) 427-9670 ext. 470.  The last day you can register to vote is October 28, 2019.  And when you vote, vote early please to ensure your vote counts.  Ballots will be mailed out around October 15th.  No stamp is necessary to return ballots, just follow the instructions for voting, seal it, and place it in your mailbox.  There are also mailboxes for ballots only around the city.

     

  11. Where can I go for more information?

                For more information about the levy, please visit the Pioneer School District website, or use psd402.org/about_us/levy_information, or call the Pioneer School District office at (360) 426-9115.

     

  12. Who can I speak with if I have further questions?

            If you have any questions about the upcoming Capital Levy, please do not hesitate in calling the Pioneer School District office at (360) 426-9115.  We will be happy to answer any question you may have.