School board proposes same levy rates

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board approved adopting the same proposed regular state school levy and special levy rates for Fiscal Year 2020 that they have approved for the last five fiscal years.

Their action occurred at a March 19 special meeting that followed their regular March 19 board meeting at Pleasant View Elementary.

Tax rates

The proposed special levy or excess levy tax rates that were approved are:

Class I properties—16.08 cents per $100 of assessed value; Class II—32.16 cents; and Class III and Class IV—64.32 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Owner-occupied homes in Morgan County are considered Class II properties.

School regular levy or current expense levy tax rates set by the state that were also approved that evening are:

Class I—19.40 per $100 of assessed value; Class II—38.80 cents; and Class III and Class IV—77.60 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Class I properties, which are personal property used in agriculture, are totally exempt from taxation. Class II properties are owner-occupied residential and farmland properties.

Class III properties are commercial and all other properties located outside of municipalities.

Class IV properties are commercial and all other properties inside of municipalities.

Special levy

For a home appraised at $200,000 with an assessed value rate of 60% or $120,000, the special levy tax would remain at $385.92 with the proposed levy rates—the same amount it has been for the last five years.

The special levy payment is in addition to regular state school levy taxes, county taxes and also municipal taxes that would be applicable if a homeowner resides within the Town of Bath or the Town of Paw Paw.

Projected revenue up

The projected net tax revenue to be collected for Fiscal Year 2020 through special levy taxes is

$4,250,065, some $126,633 more than last year’s projected $4,123,432.

Projected revenue from the state regular school levy for Fiscal Year 2020 is $5,025,014— $149,721 more than last year’s projection of $4,875,293.

Projected revenue is minus allowances for uncollectables, exonerations, delinquencies and discounts.

The total projected revenue from the combined regular school and special levies is $9,275,079- some $276,354 more than last year’s projected revenue of $8,998,725.

Assessed values rise

Total county assessed values   for Class II, III and IV properties are $1,055,735,536 for Fiscal Year 2020, which rose some $30,809,241 from $1,024,926,295 in Fiscal Year 2019, said School Treasurer Ann Bell.

Total assessed values for Class II properties are up to $691,989,410-a rise of $19,324,604 from last year’s projected value of $672,664,806.

Class III property values were estimated at $320,184,268-an increase of $13,414,025 from last year’s value of $306,770,243.

Class IV properties dropped to $43,561,858-a decline of $1,929,378 from last year’s $45,491,236.

Levy, budget process

Bell said the schedule of proposed levy rates is being sent to the West Virginia State Auditor’s office and to the West Virginia Department of Education for approval. The levy rates will also be published for two weeks as required by the state. The proposed levy rates are in today’s Morgan Messenger edition and will also be published in next week’s edition.

The March 19 special meeting was adjourned following approval of the proposed levy rates. The meeting will be reconvened at a special April 16 school board meeting for formal approval of the official levy rates. The reconvened meeting will follow the regular April 16 board meeting which will take place at 7 p.m. at the school board office.

A school board budget workshop will be held at the Tuesday, May 7 regular meeting that’s scheduled for 7 p.m. at the board office. The school budget is also set to be approved for publication at the May 7 regular meeting.

A budget hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 for 7 p.m. with the budget adoption set for later in the meeting. The May 7 and May 21 meetings will be held at the school board office.