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Coeur d'Alene voters to weigh in on school levy

The March 9 special election in Idaho includes a choice for CDA district voters to extend the current levy, at a decreased rate.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Idaho's Homeowner Tax Exemption.  

Voters in Coeur d'Alene will decide whether or not to extend the public school levy in the Idaho special election on March 9.

The levy that currently helps fund Coeur d'Alene Public Schools is set to expire this summer. So as they do every two years,  the district is asking voters to approve a replacement.

That means this wouldn't be a new tax. In fact, the proposed levy would be a lower tax rate than the existing one.

According to the district the current levy rate is $1.79 per $1,000 in property value. The new proposed rate is $1.71.

So if you own a home worth $300,000 in the district, and you've taken advantage of Idaho's homeowner tax exemption to fullest extent possible, you're currently paying $358 a year in property taxes towards local schools. This levy would change that to $342. 

Of course if your property values have shot up recently, you could still end up paying more in taxes than you used to, even with the decreased rate.

Increasing property values, and also just the influx of people moving into the district, are part of why the district is able to lower the tax rate while still taking in the same total amount of money as it currently does, $20 million a year.

That money makes up roughly a quarter of the district's budget.

It goes towards a wide variety of programs. Those include school resource officers, counselors, technology, arts, after school programs, and even teacher salaries.

The election is March 9th. Unless you already got an absentee ballot, you'll need to vote in person on Tuesday.

According to the district, CDA voters have approved the levy every two years since 1986.