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Greater Grays Harbor supports local school levies

January 31, 2014

The board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. unanimously voted to support all the local school levies. In a statement, CEO Tim Gibbs said “We did this not just because we believe it is essential to student quality of life to have extracurricular activities and enrichment programs, though we do. The board voted unanimously because there is a strong economic argument to be made that passing the school levies is essential to building and strengthening business and industry to make our community more prosperous.”

Voters have until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to return their ballots at voting centers, drop boxes or by mail. All mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and require first-class postage.

Gibbs said, “The first economic argument is about getting more than you pay for.” He added, “When school levies pass in Grays Harbor County, the state kicks in additional Levy Equalization Funds to help make up for the fact that we have low property values. The Aberdeen School District receives an extra $2.4 million per year over what the taxpayers of that district pay, which is a big boost to their bottom line. In fact, the levy and the equalization funds together make up 22 percent of the ASD’s entire annual budget, and 23 percent of Hoquiam School District’s.”

Gibbs told KXRO, “if our schools were to lose more than a fifth of their budget, what is the chance that entrepreneurs, whether home-grown or looking for a place to land, will want to locate here if they are thinking of their own family? Who wants to send their children to schools without music or art, sports or up-to-date textbooks? Where the classes are larger and there is no counselor support for college-bound seniors?”

If you haven’t registered to vote in Washington but want to vote in the February election, you have until Feb. 3 to register in person at your county elections department.


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