The Kanawha County library and school systems are launching their campaign for a new property tax in earnest this week.
The two public entities are asking voters to approve an additional excess levy in a Nov. 9 special election -- a joint tax that would benefit both the public school systems and all of the county's public libraries.
"This is certainly an opportunity for the folks in Kanawha County to decide if they want to support us as they have in the past as we move forward into the next decade and the rest of the century to follow," board member Bill Raglin said Monday at an event to launch the joint campaign.
The tax would generate $24.4 million the first year it's in effect, in fiscal year 2014-15 -- $21 million for the school system and $3 million for the library.
Most school board members are on board for the campaign with one notable exception; President Pete Thaw opposes pushing more taxes on voters.
The campaign and the fact that the two levies will appear together on the ballot is the result of a compromise reached between the two public entities earlier this year, after a state Supreme Court decision dissolved the funding relationship that has linked them for decades.
The court decided in April that the law forcing the school system to support the library was unconstitutional -- the school board has agreed to fund the library voluntarily through the next year, while a more stable, long-term solution is sought.
School board members have said repeatedly the school system cannot afford to continue to fund the library, but that they do not want to leave the library system in dire financial straits.