New State Funding Formula

The Colfax School District is asking voters to consider two ballot measures in February 2018 – the renewal of our local Enrichment Levy and a Facilities Renovation Bond. If both the bond and levy are approved, Colfax citizens will actually pay less in school taxes than they are currently paying because of the new way Washington State is funding education.


How is this possible?


In June 2017, the Washington State Legislature, responding to a directive from the state supreme court, restricted how public education is funded. For years, 74% of the district’s budget was funded by the state, 17% by local school levies, and the remaining 9% by federal funds. Starting in 2018 and continuing into 2019 (the first collection year of our renewal Enrichment Levy), the funding percentages change. In 2019 the state will fund 83% of the budget and our local levy will cover 8%. Federal funds provide the remaining 9%.


To help generate the revenue needed to expand the funds provided by the state, the legislature approved an increase in the state property tax. Colfax property owners currently pay an approximate state property tax of $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is estimated to increase to $2.82 per $1000 of assessed value. To offset the increase, beginning in 2019, the legislature reduced the amount of levy dollars school districts can ask local voters to approve to $1.50. The levy Colfax voters approved for collection in 2017 is $2.97 and $3.00 in 2018 per $1000 of assessed value. The proposed renewal Enrichment Levy rate for 2019 and 2020 is $1.50….a reduction of $1.47 per $1000 of assessed value.


The following table shows the current (2017) and proposed (2019) school tax rates (levy, bond and state). It also shows the projected rate for 2018. If approved on February 13, 2018, the new levy rate of $1.50 and bond rate of $2.63 will begin in the 2019 calendar year.



Current 2017

2018 (Projected)

2019 (Projected)









Colfax SD Tax Rate








State Property Tax





**Tax Exemption Info for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens (age 61+) and disabled citizens with a total annual household income of less than $40,000 may be eligible for a residential property tax exemption. For more information contact the Whitman County Assessor’s office or go to .