CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Members of the Kanawha County school board joined library officials Monday to promote the upcoming excess levy that, if passed, will financially support both entities.
The formation of a new group coined the Kids Education Yes (KEY) Committee was also announced Monday. The committee includes community members and businesses that are working toward the passage of the excess levy election scheduled for Nov. 9.
"We're the first to admit that the change in times and circumstances have caused some of our basic assumptions to be in error," school board member Bill Raglin said at a press conference held outside Piedmont Elementary School on Monday. "And in order to provide what we've been providing in the past and to improve what we have, as well as support the library, we need the voters to come out and help us as we move forward with that venture."
The proposed levy is in addition to a capped levy passed last year, which goes into effect July 1, 2014. If passed, the new levy would uncap that amount, allowing Kanawha County Schools to tax its residents the full legal amount. Currently, the levy is capped at 60 percent of what the school district is legally allowed to tax residents.
For a person with a $100,000 home and $15,000 in vehicles, the tax increase would amount to about $125 annually. That's 25 percent more than they would pay to the school system otherwise.
The proposed excess levy would generate $24.4 million in its first year in fiscal year 2014-15.
If approved, the new levy would raise $3 million for the Kanawha County Public Library in its first year -- about the same amount Kanawha County Schools was required to give to libraries each year in the past before it won its lawsuit against the library in February.
The library stood to lose about 40 percent of its entire budget after the state Supreme Court ruled that the school board no longer had to financially support it.