Bond Questions & Answers

Q: What is the difference between a bond and levy?

A: Bonds are for Buildings and Levies are for Learning. School bonds provide immediate funds for large, long-term capital projects, such as modernization of buildings, new school construction or purchasing property. Bond funds are generally collected over a 15 to 30 year period, and are comparable to your home mortgage. Levies bridge the gap between state and federal funding and the actual cost of operating a school district. Levies support basic educational programs and services. In Finley, levies support roughly 20% of our annual operating budget and support student learning, health and safety, athletics, activities, instructional support, technology, transportation, operations, and maintenance. Finley's current levy is for two years and will expire in 2018.

Q: Why does our district need a school bond now?

A: After more than four decades of making repairs and piecing together Finley's schools, it's time for an upgrade! The Finley School Board plans to place a Capital Projects Bond on the February 14, 2017 ballot to renovate our buildings and make much-needed safety improvements, while still maintaining the structural integrity of our existing facilities. We have been debt-free since 2012, allowing Finley citizens to enjoy 4 years of no bond payments. Now is the time to come to our Finley family for the support they have always shown our schools.

Q: What will the proposed bond pay for?

A: If the bond passes, the district would complete the following projects:

1. Renovate the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Buildings and Greenhouses

2. Upgrade athletic facilities, including ADA compliant grandstands

3. Install security cameras and new key system at all three school buildings to improve student and staff safety

4. Complete additional projects throughout our school facilities, including new carpeting at the elementary school, new roofing at the middle school, , a new water distribution plant at the middle and high school, new lighting in all schools,

5. ...And more!

Q: When would construction begin on the bond projects?

A: If the bond passes, the bidding process for construction would start immediately. Following the bid process, projects would begin in multiple phases starting in 2017. Thanks to the STEM Grant received by Finley School District in 2016, many upgrades to our Career & Technical Education (CTE) Building will already be underway in the spring of 2017.

Q: How much will the bond cost taxpayers?

A: The total bond amount is for $10 million. The estimated 2018 tax rate would be $1.44 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Q: How many years is the proposed bond for?

A: The proposed bond would be financed over 20 years.

Q: Are taxpayers still paying for the last Finley bond?

A: No. The last bond, passed by Finley voters in 1999, was paid off in 2011. Finley has been debt-free ever since.

Q: What will be the combined tax rate for the school bond if it passes?

A: The total combined tax rate (bond + levy) for 2018 would be $5.54 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Q: Is there a tax break for senior citizens?

A: Yes! Qualified senior citizens can receive a tax break through the Benton County Assessor's Office. Please call (509) 786-5710 for more information. Applications and other information can also be found online at

Q: Why are these upgrades and renovations needed?

CTE and Green House:

The Finley Career & Technical Education (CTE) Building was originally constructed in 1970 as a bus barn, and later converted into a shop. In 1989, the Green House was added. A pre-owned modular building was purchased from another school district in 1992 and added to the CTE and Green House site.

Athletic Facilities:

Bleachers: In 1978, Finley community members came together to build our black football bleachers. The newer, aluminum bleachers were added almost 2 decades later in 1997. Thanks to our Finley Shop classes, various other portable bleachers have been constructed since the 1990s.

Locker Rooms: While the rest of River View High School was remodeled in 1999, the original 1977 high school locker rooms have remained unchanged.

School Buildings:

. Finley Elementary School was built in 1993, and the infrastructure and carpet are original.

. Half of the middle school's roof was repaired in 1992, and the other half in 1999 when the new wing was added to the building.

. Most of our school water systems date back to the early 1970s and are in need of upgrading. . Lighting throughout our school buildings is so outdated that replacement bulbs can no longer be purchased.

Safety & Security:

Security cameras at the middle and high school do not meet current safety standards, and there currently are no security cameras at all in the elementary school.

Q: What will happen to classes and students during construction?

A: Very minimal disruption will occur during the various stages of construction and upgrades. Students in Shop classes will be moved to the Art Pavilion during CTE and Greenhouse construction. Athletic upgrades will be made with the sports seasons in mind. The majority of work will be done when students are not in session or on campus.

Q: When are ballots mailed?

A: The Benton County Election Department will be mailing ballots on January 23, which should arrive in your mailboxes that week. If you are registered and did not receive your ballot by Friday, January 27, call (509) 736-2727 and they will mail you another.

Q: Can I still register to vote?

A: Register online here!Opens a New Window. You can register to vote in-person until Monday, February 6 at the Benton County Auditor's Office located at 5600 W Canal Drive, Kennewick. If you have questions about voter registration, call (509) 736-2727. Voter registration forms are also available at all Finley schools and at the District Office.

Q: Where can I drop my ballot?

A: In Kennewick, ballots may be dropped off at the Benton County Auditor's Annex located at 5600 W Canal Drive (across from the Tri-City Court Club) and at Kennewick City Hall located at 210 W 6th Avenue (Drive Up). Ballots must be turned in by 8 p.m. on February 14 to be counted.