West Ada School District’s administrative office

The West Ada School District’s administrative offices is at 1303 E. Central Dr., Meridian.

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MERIDIAN — The West Ada School District will ask voters on May 19 to renew a two-year, $14 million per year supplemental levy.

If approved, the levy will cover operational costs that support the district’s current programs, school days and teacher-to-student ratios. The 2020 levy would renew a 2018 levy which was approved by 68.8% of voters two years ago. West Ada has successfully renewed the $14 million per year levy four times since 2012.

A supplemental levy can be used for any expenditure that is allowable under Idaho Code. Most school districts in Idaho use supplemental levy revenue for operational costs, such as salaries and benefits. For West Ada, salaries and benefits account for 85% of the district’s general fund. The supplemental levy accounts for 5% of the district’s general fund.

The estimated average annual cost to the taxpayer on the proposed levy is $52.60 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, per year. Since West Ada currently collects a $14 million levy, which will expire when the proposed levy goes into effect, the 2020 levy will not change the current taxing rate for the district. West Ada’s current levy rate is $351 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, which is the lowest among comparable school districts in southwestern Idaho.

To pass, the levy requires 50% plus one vote approval from voters.

West Ada planned to also ask voters this month for a $69 million bond, to be used for new school facilities, but the West Ada board of trustees in March voted to cancel the bond measure due to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The May 19 election will be held through mail-in voting. Voters must request absentee ballots by 8 p.m. May 19, and can do so at idahovotes.gov or through the Ada County Elections Office, 208-287-6860. The ballots are due back to the Ada County Elections office by 8 p.m. June 2.

Ryan Suppe is the Meridian reporter for the Idaho Press. Contact him at 208-465-8119. Follow him on Twitter @salsuppe.

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