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Jefferson County passes additional school levy

November 01, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County residents approved an additional five-year levy Saturday with 61 percent of the votes cast in favor of the measure.

The levy passed 1,431 to 912 in complete, but unofficial results.

The voter turnout was 13 percent.

The special excess levy provides about 20 percent of the school system's funding.

The county is nearing the end of the current five-year levy.

"I feel elated that we can continue to offer our students and employees the same services we've been offering," said school board member Doris Cline.

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The levy going on the September ballot will keep the taxes at the same level from July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2003, school officials said.

The special levy is included on county real estate taxes and draws about 43.6 cents per $100 of assessed value on a homeowner's property taxes, said schools spokeswoman Liz Thompson.

The levy provides about an additional $6.9 million each year in funding to the schools, Thompson said.

The annual school system's budget is about $35 million.

Under state law, all counties tax residents at 40.96 cents per $100 of assessed property value, according to the Jefferson County Assessor's Office.

A house valued at $100,000 is assessed at $60,000. The state required tax for schools costs the owner of $100,000 property $245.76 a year, according to the assessor's office.

The special excess levy costs tax payers with a $100,000 property an additional $261.60 a year, according to the assessor's figures.

Superintendent David Markoe said he was pleased by the results.

"It really is important to all the children of Jefferson County," Markoe said.

Tom Lange of the West Virginia Education Association said Markoe did a good job of encouraging residents to vote for the levy.

"You've got to give the superintendent credit. He did a yeoman's work in this campaign. He really impressed the employees by being willing to get out and speak to everyone who would listen to him," Lange said.

About half of the levy, $3.5 million, would be used to maintain salary supplements and stipends to teachers, professionals and service personnel and would include the first raises for teachers since the 1989-1990 school year, school officials said.

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