The Whatcom County Assessor released a statement regarding the department's error in how they assessed the Nooksack Valley Schools' most recent levy:
Clarification of Whatcom County Council Resolution 2020-052
"A clerical error occurred in Whatcom County Council's resolution 2020-052, Certifying Property Tax Levies for Collection in 2021 to the County Assessor. The Nooksack Valley School District general fund/enrichment levy was certified at $25,015,747.14. The correct amount should have been $2,500,000. The Assessor's office adjusted the actual levy to $3,123,229.15, which was the state maximum of $2.50 per $1000 of assessed value. This levy error will be corrected over two years, per the district's preference. The Nooksack Valley School District's debt service fund/bond was certified at $3,429,886.63; the correct amount should have been $3,445,633.77. This levy error will be corrected in 2022."
Nooksack Valley Schools administration was made aware of the Whatcom County Assessor's error at the most recent NV Schools board meeting. For the assessment year of 2021, Whatcom County reported to NV Schools that the government agency assessed an excess of $623,000.
In February 2020, voters approved a four-year levy for a total collection of $11.2 million. In July 2020 the OSPI approved the $2.5 million collection amount for 2021 and in November 2020 the local ESD certified the levy amount prior to the district submitting to the assessor's office. The assessor's office entered the incorrect amount, and this error was not caught until fall 2021 levy collections.
Matt Galley, superintendent, says the school district will do what it can to rectify the government's error.
According to state law, NV Schools has the four-year life of the levy to correct the assessor's error. The Nooksack Valley board has decided to collect approximately $300,000 less each of the next two years to return to the levy level voters approved. At the end of 2024, the total collection will not exceed $11.2 million, as approved by voters, and taxpayers will not pay any additional funds over the life of the levy due to the assessor's error.