Look closer at tax rates and school bond
October 25, 2012 · Updated 3:25 PM
The Sept. 28 Auburn Reporter had a guest op ("Vote yes for schools by Nov. 6") in which the author lamented over the condition of Auburn High.
The article was accompanied by a picture of the school's boiler spewing black smoke. Maybe that boiler should have been repaired or replaced, using part of that $46.4 million capital improvements levy approved by Auburn voters in November 2009. That levy was to fund necessary repairs and essential improvements.
Now the school district wants us to approve a $110 million bond issue to reconstruct Auburn High, citing no increase in "average" school taxes, and taxes will remain "flat" or "level."
The primary reason taxes will show no increase at this time is because our property values have fallen due to the real estate bust. Low property values are just a temporary thing. In reality, the Auburn School District tax rate will increase approximately 8.4 percent from $6.14 assessed per $1,000 property value to $6.65 assessed per $1,000 property value, the highest levy rate of all 20 school districts in King County.
In addition, the King County levy tax rate will increase to almost $15 per $1,000 property value and in some Auburn levy code areas, it will exceed $15 per $1,000 property value.
In conclusion, I know it's not politically correct to question a school bond issue but Auburn taxpayers should be aware of the high levy rates when they go to the ballet box.
– Chester H. Wells Jr.