Levy rates set in Martinsburg, Berkeley Co.

April 20, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County and the city of Martinsburg adopted new tax rates for the upcoming 2011-12 fiscal year with few if any taxpayers feeling much of a pocketbook pinch in the coming year.

Some taxpayers could see a slight drop in their taxes, some might see very modest increases, executives in both government said.

The Berkeley County Council at a special meeting Tuesday morning passed a levy rate that will bring in 2 percent more in revenues during the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The council adopted a $24.5 million budget for the new fiscal year in March. County officials did not disclose how the new levy rate would affect individual property owners.

The Martinsburg City Council, during a special evening session Thursday, passed a levy rate that will add 3 percent to its revenue stream for the new fiscal year.

The city council adopted a $29.3 million budget on March 24, which includes all municipal expenses, from the 48-member police department to the water, sewer and sanitation departments, which is getting a $9 million boost next year, officials said.

The revenue generated from the city’s levy rate adjustment is expected to offset increases in health insurance, contributions to the public employees retirement system, matching grant obligations for additional firefighters and other costs.

In the city, a resident with a property worth $200,000 would pay an additional $6.96 per year with the levy rate change. Business property owners using the same property and assessed values would pay an additional $13.92 per year, city Finance Director Mark Spickler said previously.

Both jurisdictions saw a drop in assessed real estate values this year.

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