(Updated at 1:55 pm on April 20, 2018, to clarify how much more the new levy will cost an average homeowner.)
The city of Seattle is planning to ask voters to approve a levy this November to pay for education programs for kids from preschool age all the way up to community college.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is proposing to fold two expiring levies - the Seattle Preschool Program passed in 2014 and the Families and Education Levy passed in 2011 - into one.
She’s calling it the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Plan and it would cost the average homeowner an extra $113 per year in additional property tax compared with the levies that are set to expire, according to information provided by city staff.
The aim is to expand the city’s preschool program and make investments in public schools to help boost results for kids of color and other historically underserved students.
Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda said she would like to see the levy help families with infants and toddlers as well.
“We know that the reality is that many families right now are spending far too much on child care for just their kiddos zero to three,” Mosqueda said.
The mayor’s levy proposal would cost the average Seattle homeowner $249 per year based on an estimate of what the median assessed value home will be next year. That median assessed value is projected to be $665,000.
Currently, an average homeowner pays a combined $136 per year for the two expiring levies, the Seattle Preschool Program that was approved in 2014 and the Families and Education Levy approved in 2011. That's based on a median assessed value of $597,000 in 2018.
The plan also includes money to help high school graduates in Seattle go to community college. That includes not just tuition assistance but also resources for counseling to help make sure students get the support they need and don’t drop out.