By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian
Marion County residents voted Saturday to renew the school excess levy.
The levy has been passed by voters for more than 50 years. 59.48 percent voted for the levy, and 40.52 percent voted against. 3,129 people voted in the election, or 7.44 percent of total registered voters.
Superintendent of Schools Gary Price says the school system appreciates Marion County residents’ continued support.
“We certainly are very pleased that the taxpayers of Marion County saw fit to continue with the excess levy,” Price said.
“It helps enrich the educational environment, and we like to think that with the performance that our schools have had the past few years that we have earned the respect and trust of the taxpayers. We feel that’s the reason that they continue to support us, because they see us being good stewards of the money, and making sure that every penny goes toward a high-quality education for their students. ”
Price said that the levy provides a great deal of additional support to the school system, providing funds for maintenance, transportation, technology and employee benefits.
“Really, each one of those areas is really critically important,” Price said. “We’ve been trying to make some major improvements in some of our schools and facilities, and we think we’re making some strides toward that.”
Marion County Clerk Janice Cosco said she was pleased with how the levy election went.
“I thought it went very well, considering this is the first paper ballot election that we’ve had in quite a few years,” Cosco said. “The poll workers did very well overall, and everything was in and counted by 9:30 p.m., so I think we had an excellent day out in the county. I just wish more voters would have turned out.”
Cosco said the school levy would benefit everyone in Marion County.
“It’s very important for the community. It helps everyone, actually,” Cosco, “because it’s for the students, helping to provide a lot of the supplies and books and everything that it takes to educate them, and it also benefits the teachers and the board of education employees.”
The polls were open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Early voting occurred between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9, with 494 early votes, and 227 absentee votes.
The levy will go into effect July 1, 2014, and will be voted on again in 5 years.
The excess levy is based on assessed property values in the county. These values are set by the assessor’s office each year. The excess levy will be included as a part of residents’ regular tax bills.
Email Colleen S. Good at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.