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Morgan Co. school board approves budget with reduced levy rate

May 02, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The proposed $21,430,000 budget for fiscal year 2007-08, with a revised excess levy rate of 85 percent, was unanimously approved Tuesday night by the Morgan County Board of Education.

Board president Laura Smith said the board received favorable comments from the community by revising the excess levy rate from 90 percent to 85 percent. Board members Larry Omps and David Ambrose said they received favorable comments as well.

The school board members voted to roll back the excess levy rate to 85 percent on April 17. On March 27, they initially voted for an excess levy rate of 90 percent.

Nancy White, treasurer of Morgan County Schools, said the levy rate was decreased from 90 percent because of increased property assessments in Morgan County.

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"We're collecting more than we anticipated, and we could give the taxpayers some relief," White said, especially since the county approved a tax increase to pay for a $4 million revenue bond to rebuild the Morgan County Courthouse.

White said by rolling back the excess levy rate from 90 percent to 85 percent, $248,022 was transferred from the capital projects fund to the general operating fund.

She said they were able to do this because the West Virginia Legislature changed the criteria for growth counties in West Virginia, and Morgan County is qualified to receive a larger portion for capital projects.

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