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Peninsula School District bond failing to reach supermajority

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on Feb. 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
February 8, 2011 8:23 pm

A $78 million bond measure for the Peninsula School District was failing tonight to get enough “yes” votes for approval.

The capital bond was shy of the 60-percent supermajority required for approval, according to preliminary returns.

The measure would pay for renovation and maintenance projects throughout the 9,000-student district. It would focus on taking care of schools already open but in need of repairs and modernization.

The bond also includes money to purchase property for a future elementary school.

The last completely new school built in the district was Goodman Middle School nearly 20 years ago. In the past two decades, Peninsula voters have passed only one school bond measure – for $45 million in 2003.

The measure would add an estimated 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to taxes levied by the Peninsula School District.

District officials estimate the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an additional $54 a year; the owner of a $500,000 home would pay an added $135 a year.

Total 2010 tax assessments from the district, including both bond and operating levy rates, are $2.15 per $1,000. The district’s levy – which helps pay day-to-day costs – is due for renewal in 2012.

Peninsula officials say their tax rates per $1,000 are already the lowest among the 15 school districts in Pierce County. That’s because property values in the community are relatively high. Peninsula’s total tax rate of $2.15 is much less than Puyallup’s at $4.60 and Tacoma’s at $4.65. However, both of those districts have larger student populations.

Projects the capital bond would fund include:
• Renovations at Artondale Elementary.
• Improvements at Gig Harbor and Peninsula high schools.
• New multipurpose facilities at Evergreen, Minter, Discovery and Voyager elementary schools.
• Infrastructure, equipment and security system improvements at all schools.
• Renovation of the district’s transportation facility.
• Property purchase for a future elementary school.

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