Philomath School District 17J Operating Tax Levy, Measure 02-84 (May 2013)

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A Philomath School District 17J Operating Tax Levy measure was narrowly approved on the May 21, 2013, election ballot in Benton County, which is in Oregon.

This measure authorized the Philomath School District to impose a property tax levy of 1.5 mills ($1.5 per $1,000 of assessed valuation) for 5 years in order to fund student programs. The estimated revenue from this tax is between $555,994 and $601,826 per year with a total estimated revenue of $2,893,417 over the entire five years.[1]

Election results

Measure 02-84
Approveda Yes 1,245 52.80%
These results are from Benton County elections office

Text of measure

Question on the ballot:

Shall Philomath School District levy $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for five years for student programs starting in 2013-14? This measure may

cause property taxes to increase more than three percent.[1][2]


In recent years, Philomath School District has experienced state and federal funding reductions and state-mandated cost increases. To address these

shortfalls, the District has reduced over 17 full-time equivalent staff positions, cut supply budgets, and reduced contributions to extracurricular activities, resulting in a $1.5 million reduction in annual expenses. Despite these measures, current budget projections will require additional cuts of approximately $1,950,000 over the next five years.

Levy funds will minimize impacts on class size, school days, instructional time, and programs such as PE, music, vocational courses, foreign languages, advanced college courses, art, drama, athletic programs, the community pool, and other valued programs. This measure authorizes the District to levy $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value each year beginning July 1, 2013 for five consecutive years. The District estimates this would raise approximately $555,994 in 2013-14, $567,114 in 2014-15, $578,457 in 2015-16, $590,026 in 2016-17, $601,826 in 2017-18, for a total of $2,893,417 over five years. This estimate is based on information available from the county assessor at the time of the analysis.

The owner of a home assessed at $150,000 would pay a maximum of $18.75 per month or $225.00 per year.[1][2]


Below are statements in support of this proposition:

Philomath School Board Members:

The strength and quality of our schools has long been a source of pride to the Philomath community, and is one of the main reasons that families choose to live (and stay) in

Philomath. Schools not only bring a sense of community to families with children in the district, but residents without students enjoy the secondary benefits of a strong school system. Great schools mean more stable property values, low crime rates, and an educated and employable work force. School tournaments and events draw thousands of visitors to local businesses throughout the year. Strong schools bring many benefits to the Philomath community.

Philomath schools also benefit from the tremendous support of its community -- parents, volunteers, local businesses and civic organizations provide a strong support network for our schools. Philomath schools enjoy many programs that are unusual for a district of its size. An outstanding program for music and the arts, strong athletic teams in a variety of sports, a robotics program, a community pool, a charter school that offers an alternate educational setting, Advanced Placement courses, online learning and credit recovery options, and strong programs in specialized areas like Forestry and Applied Technology (CAD, drafting, welding, etc).

Students of the Philomath school district are widely recognized for their outstanding accomplishments; they raise money for local causes and charities, and have frequently earned recognition for their scholastic achievements as well as their many contributions to the community. This Local Levy would provide essential funding to help sustain the outstanding programs currently offered by the Philomath school district. Even after significant cuts in expenses in recent years, an operating levy is the only viable means to reduce the impact of further cuts, while sustaining programs that make our schools and community strong.

Please vote "Yes" on Measure 02-84.

Don Cruise Jim Kildea Tom Klipfel

This information furnished by Jim Kildea.[2]

Yes on Measure 02-84:

The Philomath Education Association is deeply concerned with the budget cuts that have been impacting student learning and staff. Several key educational programs are

in danger of being reduced and/or eliminated. The Philomath School Operating Levy would be used to minimize these cuts. Classes such as Music, PE, Fine Arts, Vocational Ed., and Foreign Language help keep students engaged and enrich their educational experience. Please join us in support of our schools by voting YES on the Operating Levy. This information furnished by Donna Carter, Co-President, Philomath Education Association.[2]

Performing Arts educators of Philomath:

The Philomath School District has always been a very strong supporter of music and drama education for all students. Music programs are currently a core part of the

curriculum for every student from Kindergarten through sixth grade, and elective and extra-curricular options are available to students from seventh through twelfth grade. Amazing music and drama programs are put on every year at every grade level. Our high school has won two Grammy Awards in the last five years. We would like to continue this strong tradition in Philomath of giving our kids access to this enriching part of their educational experience.

Unfortunately, with declining enrollment and reduced state funding, music and drama, like many other important education programs, are at risk for reduced financial support. The monies raised in this operating levy will help minimize the impact of budget cuts to music, drama and other programs of the Philomath Schools that make the educational experience for our children so much more engaging.

We have wonderful music and drama programs throughout the Philomath School District. Please help us preserve these for the children of our community.

Dr. Dan Johnson, High School Director of Performing Arts

Mrs. Diane Crocker, Middle School Band and Drama Director

Ms. Amy Kao, Elementary School Music Teacher and Choir Director

Mrs. Colleen Schulze, Retired Elementary School Music Teacher and Choir Director

Please support music and dramatic arts education for our kids.


This information furnished by the Performing Arts educators of Philomath.[1][2]

Philomath Youth Activities Club Board of Directors:

The mission of PYAC is "to provide positive recreational and educational opportunities to the youth in our community." The Philomath School District has always

partnered with PYAC in that mission, by providing access to school facilities, free of charge, for after-school programs, sports teams practices and games, fundraisers, and other activities. In addition, PYAC fully understands the importance of a well-rounded education, with lots of opportunity for a diverse curriculum and school-sponsored extra-curricular activities.

After several years of budget cuts and cost reductions, the Philomath School District still faces cuts to core school programs, both inside and outside of the classroom. This operating levy will help the district reduce the impact on important programs for our children. Therefore, the PYAC Board of Directors stands behind the Philomath Schools during this time and encourages your support of the Philomath Schools Operating Levy

Please join the PYAC Board of Directors in voting YES on Measure 02-84

This information furnished by the Philomath Youth Activities Club Board of Directors.[1][2]

For additional arguments in favor of this measure see the County Voters Guide.


No statement was submitted in opposition to this proposition. If you have an argument that you would like posted here please email

Explanatory Statement

In recent years, the Philomath School District has taken actions to address funding reductions to balance the budget, including:

• Eliminated 5 administrator positions (3 full-time equivalent jobs), consolidating responsibilities with remaining administrators.
• Reduced 14 full-time equivalent teacher and support positions.
• Negotiated salary freezes at various times for all district employees.
• Increased athletic and activity participation fees.
• Cut back hours of the community pool.
• Reduced high school sections in German, Business, Media, Science, Language Arts, Forestry, PE, Health, and Math.
• Scaled back counseling time across the District. PHILOMATH SCHOOL DISTRICT 17J MEASURE 02-84
• Renegotiated and replaced the un-funded Supplemental Retirement Program for current staff with a 403(b) retirement account, reducing the original financial obligation of the district by 50%.
• Replaced the staff's Sick Leave Bank with more cost effective short-term disability insurance.

Despite these significant reductions, the District needs to make additional average cuts of $390,000 every year for the next five years, resulting in $1,950,000 of cuts for the 2017-18 annual budget. While the funds from this operating levy would not offset all of these required reductions, the incremental funds would represent preserving up to 14 school days, 9 teachers, or funding for vocational programs, art, music, drama, sports, and other extra-curricular activities. Without the levy funds, these areas would be much more negatively impacted. The Philomath community has always shown strong support for its schools, which has resulted in a solid record of achievement: • The Oregon Department of Education rated PMS and PHS "outstanding."
• Philomath schools have 100% "highly qualified" teachers as defined by federal law.
• PHS's graduation rate is 10 percentage points higher than the state average.
• PHS has produced several state championship sports teams and earned the Oregonian Cup, awarded to the top 4A high school for its student athletes' GPAs, sportsmanship, and extracurricular involvement.
• Philomath School's music programs are a model for other districts, with the PHS concert band winning 2 Grammy Awards in the past five years and PMS having 110 student participants in its March 2013 musical “The Little Mermaid."
• 39% of PHS graduates in 2011 entered a four-year college in the Oregon University System.
• PHS continues to support a variety of course offerings such as Forestry, Robotics, Art, Forensics, and Manufacturing Technology.
The Philomath School District would use the monies from the operating levy to offset budget reductions and continue its tradition of excellence. In May 2010, the voters of Philomath approved a $29.5M construction bond levy for school facility improvements. Those projects were completed on schedule, within budget, and as outlined in the "bond promise" to the voters. However, by state law, monies from the construction bond cannot be used for school operating expenses. Thus, the District is seeking this operating levy to address the operating budget shortfalls. Because of "compression" between assessed property value and true market value, some homeowners would not incur any tax increase as a result of this levy.

Submitted by: Dan Forbess
Philomath School District[1][2]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Benton County May 21, 2013 Voter’s Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.