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Gig Harbor Chamber Board Position on PSD Bond/Levy

Gig Harbor, WA – The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce unanimously supports both of the Peninsula School District’s propositions that appear on the primary ballot. One would authorize construction funding as part of a 20-year financing plan, and the other would pay for technology upgrades during the next four years.

“The Board of Directors reviewed this issue extensively over the course of several board meetings,” said Warren Zimmerman, the president and CEO of the Chamber. “After careful consideration, the Board adopted a thorough and thoughtful resolution that clearly lays out costs and benefits of the propositions voters will consider this fall.”

The Chamber Board invited school district representatives to discuss the propositions, and they also heard from citizens who oppose the measures, Zimmerman said. In addition, the Chamber hosted and participated in several community forums that focused on the debate.

Proposition 1, which needs 60 percent voter approval, would use long-term bonds to pay for the construction of a new elementary school in Gig Harbor North, as well as safety upgrades at several schools. The 20-year structure is standard practice in construction financing. If passed, it would increase property taxes by an average of 90 cents per $1,000 of assed value. For an average house with an assessed value of $250,000, the increase would be about $225 per year, or $18.75 per month.

Proposition 2 is a four-year levy that requires 50 percent approval. It is meant to supplement the construction process by funding only the short-term technology upgrades. If successful, it would add about $0.04 per $1,000 of property value during the next four years. That would result in a property tax increase of about $10 per year, or $0.83 per month, for an average $250,000 home.

If Prop. 1 fails and Prop. 2 passes, all long-term construction funding would be wrapped into the four-year levy, along with technology upgrades

“The Board decided it made sense to support the passage of Proposition 2 in conjunction with the passage of Proposition 1, because Proposition 2, in that context, would limit levy funding to technology upgrades district-wide at less than $1 per month for most households,” Zimmerman said. “Funding new computers and other technology devices over a long-term, 20-year bond does not make fiscal sense, but financing it over a four-year cash levy plan is the common-sense approach.”

About the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce – The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce is incorporated as a 501 (c)(6) entity and is not part of any local, state, or federal government. The Chamber is funded by member dues as well as non-dues items such as events, sponsorships, contracts and sales of products and services. The majority of Chamber members are small businesses with fewer than 15 employees. The Chamber supports a broad range of issues to help businesses and the community, and it acts as a liaison between and among various business, non-profit and community stakeholders throughout the region.