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Morgan County Commission & School Board Raise Taxes
Berkeley Springs, WV - County residents can expect tax increases for the 2012 tax year. Morgan County Commissioners voted 2-1, and Morgan County Schools voted, to pass property tax levy rate increases on April 17th. While real estate values fell and assessments were lowered, both organizations said expenses had increased. Both boards said they cut budgets, but to make up for the shortfalls from the lowered assessments, they passed levy rate increases.
The county levy rate was set at 27.14 cents per $100 assessed value for owner-occupied homes (Class II residential property). With the increased rates, the county will collect a net revenue of $3,371,380 which accounts for about 80% of the $4 million county budget. That amount includes the tax on second homes and commercial properties.
In Morgan County, the school system receives about 74% of all taxes collected. They also receive state aid based on student population and some federal aid. The county receives the other 26% of collected taxes.
With the school board rate of 38.80 cents per $100 assessed value, and the excess school levy rate of 43.06 (up from 40.62 last year), residents will likely see an increase in their taxes. If they live in the town of Bath, they have a rate of 15.96 additional. The Town of Bath kept the same levy rates as last year.
The school board’s special levy will bring in a projected net revenue of $5,458,158, which is $212,493 above last fiscal year, in addition to the regular school levy. According to the budget figures submitted, general personal and real property taxes (including the regular and special levy and prior year taxes) are expected to net the school board $10,947,966.
Under last year’s county and school board rates, for an owner of a home in Morgan County valued at $200,000 and assessed at $120,000 (60% of assessed value), taxes would have been about $1,269.36. Under the new combined rates of 27.14, 38.80, and 43.06, an owner of the same house will be taxed $1,308.00, or $38.64 more. If they live in the town of Bath, the taxes will increase again based on the 15.96 rate.
To find out one’s increase in taxes, one can find out his or her assessed value from the assessor’s office. Then, multiply assessed value by the combined total rate of 1.0900 to get the annual taxes. Compare it to last year’s tax bill.
The county commission meets the first and third Thursday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse. Morgan County School Board meets again May 14th at 7 p.m. at the board office on Harrison Avenue.