School board approves proposed 2024-2025 levy rates

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board approved the same proposed regular school levy and special levy rates for Fiscal Year 2025 that they approved for the last 10 fiscal years. Their action took place at a March 19 special meeting that followed their regular March 19 school board meeting, which was held at Paw Paw Schools.

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 classified as Class II properties.

School regular levy or current expense levy tax rates set by the state that were also approved at the meeting 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.

Projected revenue

The special levy is estimated to raise $5,196,193 in projected net taxes for Morgan County Schools for Fiscal Year 2025-some $237,810 more than last year’s projected $4,958,383 amount.

The regular state school levy is estimated to bring in $6,143,660 in projected net taxes for Morgan County Schools—some $281,176 more than last year’s projection of $5,862,484.

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

The total estimated revenue from the combined regular school levy and the special levy is $11,339,853-$518,986 more than last year’s projected revenue of $10,820,867.

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.   Morgan County Schools has had a special levy since 1958.

Assessed values increase

Total county assessed values for Class II, III and IV properties for tax purposes for Fiscal Year 2025 are $1,289,221,229, an increase of   $59,698,807 from $1,229,522,422 in Fiscal Year 2024.

Total assessed values for Class II properties rose to   $842,962,216, a leap of    $39,970,293 from last year’s projected value of $802,991,923.

Total estimated Class III property values climbed to $399,072,614, a rise of $18,854,962 from the Fiscal Year 2023 projected value of $380,217,652.

Total projected Class IV properties went up to $47,186,399, an increase of $873,552 from last year’s property values of $46,312,847.

Levy, budget process

School Treasurer Ann Bell submitted 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 sent 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 19 special meeting was adjourned after the school board voted to approve the proposed levy rates.  The meeting will be reconvened at a special April 16 school board meeting where the board will formally adopt the official levy rates. The reconvened meeting will follow the regular April 16 board meeting, which will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the school board office.

A school board budget work session will be held at the Tuesday, May 7 regular meeting that is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at the school board office. The school budget will be approved for publication at that meeting.

A budget hearing is set for Tuesday, May 21 at their regular meeting that’s set for 6:00 p.m. at the school board office.  The school board will adopt the budget later during that meeting.