School Levy Rate Could Raise Revenue by $1.5M

A $100 million increase in Ohio County’s property values will mean an additional $1.5 million for Ohio County Schools, after the board of education voted Monday to keep its operating levy rate at 95.5 percent for the 2013-14 budget.

If that levy rate is approved by the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office, the board will meet April 16 to officially adopt the levy rate for next year’s budget.

According to Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo, the county assessor set the total property value of Ohio County at $1,861,805,388 for the 2013-14 fiscal year, an increase of about $100 million over last year’s value.

This would increase the school district’s current local revenue from about $19.9 million to $21.4 million.

Vargo noted Ohio County Schools also will experience a reduction of $579,644 in state revenue for next school year.

“State aid does not provide funding for some personnel and so we’ll be using projected revenue from local taxes for those personnel,” Vargo said. “For example, positions that are maintained but not in the state aid formula include our business manager. His position is required by law, but we can’t pay his salary from the state aid formula, so local revenue has to pay his salary. That’s what we look at as we create the budget.”

Vargo also noted there are other positions not supported by state money, such as the schools’ technology staff.

In addition, the extra revenue will support salary increment increases as teachers gain more years of experience or increase their level of education.