CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Kanawha County voters are asked to sign off on a new tax to benefit the school and library systems next month, they'll be signing off on a slew of programs and initiatives.
The tax, an additional excess levy for Kanawha County schools and the county's public libraries, would raise $24.4 million the first year it takes effect, in 2014. But voters aren't writing a blank check - those funds must, by law, be earmarked for specific purposes.
According to the official ballot for the levy, which voters will be presented with in a special election Nov. 9, that includes about $3.4 million for the county's libraries. The rest will go toward schools.
Supporters of the levy sat down Tuesday with the Charleston Daily Mail editorial board to discuss the specifics of their proposal.
The money directed toward the school system is earmarked for a number of items over the levy's five-year period:
In total, the school system would collect about $24.4 million the first year it's in effect, the 2014-15 fiscal year. By the 2018-19 fiscal year, the last year the five-year excess levy is in place, it's expected to garner $28 million for Kanawha County schools.
Those are substantial gains over the excess levy voters have already approved for the school system, which is capped at a flat $44.2 million - about 65 percent of what the school system is legally allowed to voters to approve in property taxes. (By law, the school system can seek an excess levy rate that is equal to as much as 100 percent of its regular levy).