by Inlander Staff & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & F & lt;/span & or the first time, every voter in Spokane County will cast his or her school levy renewal vote by mail. The 14 districts in the county are approaching this levy the way they have others before it, but voting by mail does throw a wrinkle into the mix: Will more "No" votes emerge? Will fewer supporters mail in their ballot? With such uncertainty surrounding the issue, it's a good time to remind voters that they should remember to vote to support the levies.
The local levy makes up about 15 percent of the districts' budgets, but it's a vital slice of the pie. The money is used to fund things like art, drama and sports, and some staff positions are filled with money from the levies, like librarians, counselors and security officers.
This is not a new tax, just a renewal of an existing revenue stream culled from property taxes. And in fact, with the recent rise in property values, the actual rate will be less than what voters endorsed in 2003.
The strength of the communities of Spokane County starts in the schools. This year, more than ever, don't forget to vote yes and mail in your levy renewal ballot by March 14.