Kanawha County taxpayers will fork over $350,000 for the upcoming school and library levy special election scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Most of the money will come from Kanawha County Board of Education coffers.
The rest - a small amount - will have to be paid by the Kanawha County Commissioners. The county will front the money for the election and then request reimbursement from the school board.
"It's their election," Commission President Kent Carper said. "The vast majority of the costs will be paid for by the school board."
The county will have to pick up the tab for what Carper called small "incidental costs." The school board will need to pay for county employees who need to work to conduct the election, among other expenses.
Carper has repeatedly expressed disapproval of the board's decision to have the election on a Saturday, noting that Saturday elections typically have lower turnouts. The election will also be expensive because it is a special election and not coupled with a regular primary or general contest.
"I've always insisted (elections) not be on a Saturday," he said.
Carper said when he took office in 1996, he has been against holding special elections, a policy that's saved the county about $1.5 million.
In some cases, a special election can't be avoided when the state sets a date, such as for the replacement of the late Sen. Robert Byrd and subsequent gubernatorial election.
"We didn't pick the date," Carper said of the levy election. "We weren't even asked if we were available."
The new tax under consideration is expected to generate $24.4 million in its first year for schools and $3.4 million for county libraries. That's in addition to another excess levy already passed that will take effect in July 2014.
If passed, the school board would have three levies - one regular and two excess.
Originally separate, the school board voted in June to combine the school and library taxes together, meaning voters won't be able to choose one and not the other.