4J school board holds forum on local option levy renewal

The community will be able to give input Wednesday night on the proposed renewal of the local option levy, which provides about $17 million per year.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 4:03 PM
Updated: May 21, 2019 6:29 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene School District 4J is holding a forum Wednesday night, inviting community members to provide input on the possible renewal of a local school funding measure before it goes to voters in May.

The school board earlier voted to refer a five-year renewal of the local option levy to the May ballot. Now residents will be able to ask questions and discuss the measure with board members, the superintendent and other 4J staff at the forum, which is being held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the 4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St. 

The levy is a property tax that provides about $17 million a year for 4J school operations, such as teachers, programs, utilities and other daily operating costs. The money pays for the equivalent of about 161 teachers or 26.5 school days each year. A renewal would maintain funding for school operations and would not raise the tax rate.

If voters approve the levy renewal on May 21, it would continue the local option levy at the same tax rate for another five years, through June 2025. Renewal of the levy would provide funds to maintain school days, school programs, class sizes and other school service levels.

Without this levy, the school district said they would need to reduce general fund operating costs and services by about 9 percent beginning with the 2020-21 school year.

Under Oregon law, a local option levy is the only way voters in a school district can provide local property tax funding for teachers, lower class sizes, school programs and other school operation costs. By contrast, capital bond funds, such as the bond measure approved by 4J voters in 2018, can only be spent on buildings, buses, books and other capital investments.

The local option levy was renewed for the 2015-2020 school years in November 2014. To learn more, click here.

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