Lower Levy Rate, Pay Raises in Budget

Marshall County residents will see another reduction in the county levy rate after commissioners Tuesday presented the budget message for the 2013-14 tax year.

While the proposed budget calls for a reduction in rates for all three tax classes, it includes salary increases for both full- and part-time employees. Elected officials are not granted raises because their salaries are set by the state Legislature.

”The Marshall County Commission is committed to giving the citizens of Marshall County the best possible service for their tax dollars,” said Commission President Don Mason.

According to Mason, the projected revenues amount to $16,782,86, with $4,010,000 projected to be generated from coal severance funds. The budget, which will take effect July 1, is an increase of $1,972,330 over the amount projected for the current year.

“We are blessed with great natural resources in our county,” Mason said. “Coal severance funds have continued to hold up, and we are now beginning to see results from investment in the oil and gas industry. We believe this budget serves the needs of our elected officials so that they may operate their offices efficiently. Hopefully we have projected properly for potential increases in the cost of insurance, regional jail and fuel for vehicles.”

Mason said the levy rates will be reduced 11.1 percent, a direct response to new industry in the county that has added $605 million to the county’s assessed property values. Class I properties will be reduced from 11.25 cents per $100 of valuation to 10 cents; Class II from 22.5 cents to 20 cents; and Classes III and IV from 45 cents to 40 cents.

”This results in a savings of $1,161,418 returned to the taxpayers of the county,” Mason said. ‘Based on the assessor’s certificate of valuation, this levy will provide ad valorem tax revenue of $9,291,341.”

Additionally, the budget includes enough money to give each full-time employee a salary increase of $1,250 for the next fiscal year, with part-time employees’ salaries being adjusted accordingly.

Other areas of focus include various county agencies that rely on county funds to operate, such as Grand Vue Park and the West Virginia University Extension Service. Mason said the commission will also look to help extend water service to areas of the county that currently do not have it, and also to help improve sewer systems in rural parts of the county.