For Immediate Release
2 November 2022
Contact: Catherine Carbone Rogers
206-631-3002 (O) 206-591-3909 (C)
Facts About the Cost of Highline Schools Bond
Cost to Taxpayers Unchanged by Update to County’s Projections
Burien, Wash. – King County updated its projections for property values in October to reflect slower-than-expected growth in home valuation in Highline neighborhoods in 2023. This changed the estimated tax rate—but not the amount—for Proposition 1, the Highline Schools
The school district updated its website and materials shortly after the county released its update. However, the voter’s pamphlet was printed before the county’s update, and it reflects
the previous estimate.
The update does not affect the dollar amount homeowners will pay for the bond. This is because voters approve a dollar amount, not a tax rate. The tax rate is an estimate of the percentage necessary to generate the approved amount.
Due to expiring bonds and levies, the amount homeowners pay for the new bond is approximately the same as the amount they are paying now to support local schools. Homeowners using the county’s online tax calculator may show an increase; however, the online tool does not account for all the factors that influence a homeowner’s tax bill. For
instance, the district can reduce the cost to taxpayers by selling the bonds in smaller portions, spreading the costs over time.
In addition, refinancing bonds lowers taxpayer costs. The district has saved taxpayers about $10 million since 2015 by refinancing bonds when interest rates are favorable. “The district’s goal is to keep taxes stable,” said Highline Chief Financial Officer Becca Chen. “While it is unlikely that every homeowner will pay the exact same amount as they did last year, we anticipate that most homeowners will pay approximately the same amount in 2023 as they are paying in 2022 for taxes going to Highline Public Schools.” The district does not collect more money when home values increase. If property values rise, the tax rate must decrease to generate the amount approved by voters.
About Highline Public Schools
Highline Public Schools serves more than 17,500 students grades K-12. Highline encompasses the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and White Center in Washington state. Highline has 35 schools, employs more than 2,000 staff members and offers
a variety of educational opportunities from early childhood to college preparation. Highline is committed to equity in education, high expectations for all, and partnering with families and the community to ensure all children graduate ready for the future they choose.