Districts across the state will collect at least $7.7 million in “emergency” property taxes — money designed to cover the costs of growth.
In school funding parlance, the additional taxes are known as emergency levies. School districts qualify for emergency levies if their preliminary fall student numbers are up from the preceding year. School boards can pass an emergency levy without voter approval.
And for districts in the state’s growth areas, the emergency levy is a perennial tax of sorts — even though trustees can only approve the tax for one year at a time.
Emergency levies are often used to hire staff to help in crowded classrooms. It may be too late in the school year to recruit and hire teachers, so districts instead hire paraprofessionals to work with teachers. Districts also use the money to pay for textbooks and other supplies.