BOE to see tax losses

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools is looking at a $250,000 decrease in levy revenues from the regular and excess levies for the next fiscal year.

Business manager George Carver told the Upshur County Board of Education that assessed values are down about $52 million from the previous year. The school system gets a portion of all property taxes in the county.

“Our regular levy revenue compared to last year’s assessed values will decline by $407,000,” he said. “The regular levy revenue is used in the state aid calculations, so when your local revenue goes down, your state aid goes up.”

Carver said the end result is Upshur County Schools will only see a 10 percent decrease — about $40,000 — from the regular levy.

However, the state aid formula does not offset the excess levy losses.

“The excess levy revenue decreased by about $210,000,” he said. “We will lose that money.”

That results in a total decrease of about $250,000.

“We saw a pretty good increase last year and the year before, so we are going back down a little bit,” Carver said. “We are a lot better off than a lot of counties, because a lot of counties are seeing a lot of decreases.”

Carver said the Upshur County Board of Education doesn’t have a lot of control over the levy rates.

“The assessed values are provided to us by the assessor, the regular levy rates are set by the legislature and we can’t change them even if you want to,” he said. “The excess levy rates are set by the levy call that is approved by voters.”

Carver said he would send the levy rate sheets to the state auditor’s office and to the office of school finance in the West Virginia Department of Education for approval.

The levy rates will then be published in The Record Delta before final approval at a reconvened meeting of the Upshur County Board of Education on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

Also at Thursday’s special meeting, the board agreed to accept sealed bids for two school buses and a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee no longer used by the transportation department. Bus No. 43 is a 1999 Freightliner bus with 191,392 miles. Bus No. 45 is a 2000 Freightliner bus with 106,383 miles. The jeep has an automatic transmission and 122,648 miles. The vehicles may be inspected between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 20-March 24 and sealed bids will be accepted through noon on March 31 and opened publicly at 2 p.m. at the board of education office.

The next regular meeting of the board of education will be Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at Buckhannon Academy Elementary School.

The meeting will begin with the second of two required public hearings on the proposed school calendar.

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