The Times West Virginian

October 11, 2013

School levy election Saturday

County residents have voted in support for more than 50 years

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — On Saturday, Marion County voters will determine whether or not the school excess levy will be renewed.

Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said Marion County residents have voted in support of the levy for more than 50 years.

“We think we provide a high-quality educational environment for every penny that the taxpayers send us, so we just hope we can continue to enjoy their support,” Price said.

According to Price, the money from the excess levy is used for instructional materials, personnel salaries, transportation, maintenance and facility improvements.

“Without that funding, it would be difficult to provide the same quality of education that we have been able to with the generous support of the taxpayers,” Price said.

Early voting took place between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9. Marion County Clerk Janice Cosco said 494 early votes and 227 absentee votes have been received.

Those votes will be tabulated with the other ballots that will be cast on Saturday. Voting will take place at the regular precincts and polls will open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  

Cosco said she hopes there will be a good turnout at Saturday’s election.

“It’s such an important election for the students and the schools,” Cosco said. “We need for every voter in the county to exercise the wonderful privilege of voting.” 

Every year, the West Virginia Legislature sets the regular levy for public schools statewide. Local school districts then have the option to lay an additional — or excess — levy, which must be voted on by the people and is renewed every five years.

“If we get a little extra, that’s when you can do the extras,” Price said. “We think we’ve shown citizens that we’ve taken the money they’ve given us and used it wisely and have given them a very good return on their investment.” 

If Marion County voters approve the levy call, it would become effective July 1, 2014.

The excess levy is based on the assessed property values in the county, set by the assessor’s office every year. The Legislature has set the maximum amount that local school districts can charge for an excess levy.

As stated on the Marion County ballot, the costs for the excess levy are 22.95 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for class 1 personal property; 45.9 cents per $100 for class 2 property, which is an owner-occupied home or a farm; and 91.8 cents per $100 for class 3 and 4 property, which is commercial and industrial property. The levy would be included as part of residents’ regular tax bills.

Price said that if the levy is approved, the funds will continue to be used to enhance the students’ educational experience.

“We promise that we will continue to give our very best effort to educate the children at the highest level of quality possible,” he said.

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.