Special school levy up for renewal in May
The Morgan County School Board approved the date of Saturday, May 11 for the special levy election. The action came at their Monday, January 28 meeting. They also approved the purpose and rate of the five-year special levy, along with the planned timeline for the levy election.
The special levy will be set at a rate of 100%, as is customary with the levy election order. The school board decides whether to keep the special levy rate at 100% or to rollback the levy rate to a lower rate every year in the spring after school budget considerations.
Last year the Morgan County School Board unanimously decided against a proposed 100% special levy rate which they had considered and went with an increase to a 93.8% special levy rate for fiscal year 2013. The previous year’s special levy rate was set at 88.5%.
The levy order generally stipulates that the school board will reduce the levy rate in any given year during the five-year term if the cumulative countywide assessed valuations exceed 10% growth over the previous year, if it’s determined that sufficient funds are available for school purposes for the next school year.
If approved by voters, the proposed special levy would be in effect for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 through the fiscal year starting July 1, 2018. Polls, early voting.
The approved special levy timeline notes that polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 for the special election. Early voting for the special levy election will be conducted at the Morgan County Clerk’s office from April 17 through May 8.
Other details of the special levy election order were scheduled to be worked out and approved at last night’s school board meeting at Warm Springs Intermediate School.
What it funds
The special levy, also known as the excess levy, provides funding to Morgan County Schools in addition to revenues received from the state current expense levy, also called the regular or the school levy.
The special levy funds items such as instructional materials and equipment, free textbooks, 21st century technology, salaries and employee benefits, facilities and maintenance, curricular and extracurricular programs and field trips, with some transportation costs.
It also provides financial support to designated local agencies and community organizations that include the Morgan County Health Department, the West Virginia University extension office in Morgan County, the Energy Express Program, Morgan County Public Libraries and Morgan County Parks & Recreation.
The last special levy election was held on November 4, 2008. The total approximate net amount of taxes that were estimated to be brought in annually for the next five years through the 2008 levy was $5,560,681. The net amount is the gross amount of taxes minus delinquent taxes, discounts and exonerations.