The Times West Virginian

August 29, 2013

Levy ‘critically important’ for schools

Renewal election scheduled Oct. 12; county has given support for decades

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Marion County is preparing for an election to renew the school excess levy for five more years.

Kim Wade, treasurer for Marion County Schools, explained that 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.

“The excess levy has been in effect in Marion County since roughly 1950,” he said. “That’s voted on every five years by the voters, and it’s renewed every five years.”

The local election will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12. If voters approve the levy call, it would become effective July 1, 2014, Wade said.

He said the excess levy is based on the assessed property values in the county, set by the assessor’s office every year. If the assessed values go down, less money would be collected for the excess levy, or more funds would be collected if the values increase. The values and rate could also stay the same.

The Legislature has set the maximum amount that local school districts can charge for an excess levy, Wade said.

Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price explained that the Marion County Board of Education can ask for various amounts to be passed. For the maximum, the citizens would be taxed at 100 percent of what the board is permitted to charge.

Full story