Jefferson Co. Schools offering retirement incentives to help offset budget shortfall

January 06, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION |

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Jefferson County Schools officials are offering its employees a retirement incentive of $1,000 to help the school system offset declining revenues of up  to $5.3 million over the past four years.

The incentives were announced by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Susan Wall during a news conference Friday afternoon at the school system's central office on Mordington Avenue in Charles Town.

Although school officials are sending out notices to employees about the possibility of a reduction in positions, it is possible no jobs will be affected depending on how many people retire, among other variables.

Wall said she did not know when the school system will determine whether jobs will have to be cut.

School Board President Pete Dougherty said earlier Friday in a telephone interview that the Jefferson County Board of Education would discuss early retirement incentives at its Monday meeting.

"There are some budget issues that the board will have to address .... Our tax revenue has gone down," Dougherty said.

Tax revenue generated by property taxes helps pay the system's operating expenses, including personnel costs.

Dougherty said the system received $2.8 million in gaming tax revenue from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races last year.

Revenues from the casino cannot be used to pay salaries, Dougherty said. That money has to be used to pay for building maintenance and other capital improvement projects.

Dougherty said system officials anticipate the annual tax stipend from the casino will increase to $4 million in the coming years.

The school board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday.

Staff Writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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