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New structure means tax reductions for Nooksack Valley taxpayers

School tax structures have recently changed, soon impacting taxpayers within Nooksack Valley Schools. Under the new structure, the state will now fund a larger share of school operating costs.

The change, being called a “levy swap,” reduces the NV Schools local operating levy from about $4 per $1,000 of assessed valuation down to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. These changes didn’t go into effect until the calendar flipped to 2019.

As an example of what this means, if a resident owns a home assessed at a value of $300,000, the local school tax — including both the levy and current bond — went from $155 per month in 2017 to $149 in 2018. The 2019 cost drops to $80 per month. If the new bond gets approved in February, it would add $34 per month in 2020 for a $114 per month total local tax.

Historically, because the Nooksack Valley tax base is low compared to almost all other school districts in the region, NV Schools has averaged about $6 per $1,000 in total local school tax rates. Because of the new levy swap, the total local school tax rate in 2020 will be approximately $4.56 per $1,000, even with passage of the new bond issue. 

“This is great news for our taxpayers,” says Mark Johnson, superintendent, “as our state is addressing some of the inequality in our current school tax system.”