I'm ashamed to admit that I really don't understand a lot of things about local government, public programs, taxes etc. It ocurred to me the other day (after a related conversation with a friend) that I really don't know how we fund our public schools in this state, particularly since we don't have state income taxes to pull from. I'm sure that property taxes are funnelled that direction, but where else does the funding come from? Can anyone suggest a good "primer" on public education in Washington state? I want to become more involved, but I really don't know where to start as far as gathering information. Any help?
Property taxes. My mom has a tiny little .11 acre lot in a medium sized county in Eastern Washington. She pays $4K a year in property taxes. In a neighboring state, I barely pay a sixth of that. The taxes over in King County and such just boggle my mind. The rest is federal funding and local fundraising (or arm twisting - seen those supply lists lately? oof!) I do believe.
Not sure if sales tax is also included - it varies by county in WA, and they all differ in who gets the money from certain sales tax initiatives (I know in several of the more populated ones, the hotel/motel tax goes towards paying for the local visitors centers and CVB's).
Can you just call up your local district and ask for them to send you the breakdown? Worth a shot.
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)