South Kitsap School District’s Senior Tax Exchange Program (STEP), which allows qualifying residents to receive a tax break on their local levy and bond school tax in exchange for their time and skills working within the district, will continue this year.
STEP was created in response to concerns of local citizens who are living on fixed incomes and experiencing rising property taxes, according to Amy Miller, the school district’s spokeswoman.
The program also offers more opportunities to increase the contributions of senior citizens in public schools.
To qualify for the program, residents must meet all of the following criteria:
They must be 62 years of age or older; own and reside in their own home within SKSD boundaries; receive Social Security or retirement income; and have a gross household annual income of more than $40,000 and less than $65,000.
Participating residents can provide their skills, valued at the current hourly Washington state minimum wage, to schools in school district, up to, but not to exceed, the resident’s annual local tax bill.
Participants will receive a two-party check payable to themselves and the Kitsap County Treasurer in time for the April and/or October collection deadlines.
The minimum time donation is 20 hours between January and June.
Space in the program is limited and applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
To apply for the program or learn more, call Miller at 360-874-7005 or download an application from the SKSD website at www.skitsap.wednet.edu and click on the “Parents and Community” tab to find the STEP link.