Legislature passes “lid lift” local tax rules for schools

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington lawmakers have reached a deal to lift the state’s “levy lid,” blunting a tightening of limits on voter-approved local taxes for schools that was set to take effect this year.

The district-specific tax measures — or levies — are used by many schools to supplement state allowances for programs ranging from extracurriculars to special education, but a state-set maximum had been set to decrease.

Legislators in the Senate voted 25-23 Sunday to avoid much of the decrease, following a lengthy back-and-forth over where exactly to set the limit and other details. It had earlier passed the House.

The state schools superintendent endorsed raising the limit, also known the “levy lid,” and schools said it would help avert a funding crisis.

But Republicans criticized both the measure, which they said ran contrary to the state’s solution to the 2012 McCleary ruling, and school districts’ request for more funds.