Frequently Asked Questions About Levies

What is the difference between a bond and a levy?
A simple way to remember the difference is BONDS=BUILDINGS and LEVIES=LEARNING. Levy dollars allow for the district to provide programs and services that would not otherwise be funded. Bonds help fund the construction of new and remodeled buildings.

Is there a tax break for senior citizens?
Senior citizens may qualify for tax exemptions from levy and bond taxes based on household income. Exemptions may also be granted for disabled individuals. For more information, contact the Benton County Assessor's Office at (509) 735-2394.

How can I register to vote or change my mailing address?
Voter registration may be done online at the Benton County Auditor's Office website or in person at 5600 W. Canal Drive in Kennewick. 

If my property value increases, will the district get more money?
No. The total levy amount is set by the voters. Property taxes adjust based on the assessed value of a piece of property.

Will my property taxes go up?
It is unlikely that your property taxes would go up. The combined local levy tax rate will drop to $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2019, a decline of $1.35. While state property taxes will increase by an average of 81 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value at the same time, the decline in local levy taxes should mean you see a smaller property tax bill. If your property was recently assessed at a higher value, you could see an increase. In any case, the increase will be minimal. It is also possible for property taxes to go down if the property hasn’t been recently assessed or if new higher valued property is added to the county’s tax rolls.

What happens if the levy doesn’t pass?
The Board would likely choose to run it again in April. If it failed twice, the district would have to make cuts from its operational budget. This would result in substantial personnel cuts and the need to reduce or eliminate programs.

What percentage of voters must approve it to pass?
School levies require a simple majority or 50% plus one vote.

How do I know if I am registered to vote?
Call Benton County Elections Department at (509) 736-2727.

When is the next levy election?
February 2022

When will ballots be mailed?
Ballots are generally mailed two weeks prior to the election.


Robyn Chastain
Director of Communications and Public Relations
(509) 222-5000