School board proposes steady levy rate

Morgan County School Board approved the same proposed regular state school levy and special levy rates for Fiscal Year 2022 that they approved for the last seven fiscal years.

Their action took place at a March 16 special meeting that followed their regular March 16 school board meeting at the school board office.

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 per $100 of assessed value; 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 per $100 of assessed value; 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 completely 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 that it has been for the last seven 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

The projected net tax revenue to be collected for Fiscal Year 2022 through special levy taxes is

$4,494,543, some $161,520 more than last year’s projected $4,333,023.

Projected revenue from the state regular school levy for Fiscal Year 2022 is $5,314,071 —$190,972 more than last year’s projection of $5,123,099.

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

The total projected revenue from the combined regular school and special levies is $9,808,614- $352,492 more than last year’s projected revenue of $9,456,122.

Assessed values increase

Total county assessed values   for Class II, III and IV properties and projected gross tax collections for Fiscal Year 2022 are $1,123,109,815, an increase of   $51,542,276 from $1,071,567,539 in Fiscal Year 2021.

Total assessed values for Class II properties jumped to $745,084,282, up $49,138,432 from last year’s projected value of $695,945,850.

Class III property values rose to an estimated $334,623,319-an increase of $2,973,521 from the Fiscal Year 2021 value of $331,649,798.

Class IV properties decreased to $43,402,214-a decline of $569,677 from last year’s values of $43,971,891.

Levy, budget process

School Treasurer Ann Bell sent the schedule of proposed levy rates to the West Virginia State Auditor’s office and to the West Virginia Department of Education for approval.

Bell also submitted the levy rates to the Morgan Messenger for publication for two weeks as required by the state.  The proposed levy rates are in today’s Morgan Messenger edition and will also be in next week’s edition.

The March 16 special meeting was adjourned after approval of the proposed levy rates.  The meeting will be reconvened at a special April 20 school board meeting to formally adopt the official levy rates. The reconvened meeting will follow the regular April 20 board meeting which will occur at 6 p.m. at the school board office.

A school board budget work session will be held at the Tuesday, May 11 regular meeting that will take place at for 6 p.m. at the board office. The school budget will be approved for publication at the May 11 regular meeting.

A budget hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25 for 6 p.m. at the school board office with the budget adoption set for later in the meeting.