MASON COUNTY — Officials with Mason County Schools are working to ensure the excess levy is presented clearly to allow voters to make an informed decision come Tuesday.
As previously reported by school officials, the excess levy accounts for around 18 percent of the county’s total operating budget and will increase taxes approximately $2.88 per month for the average homeowner. When the phrase “average homeowner” comes into play, so does the question of who the average homeowner is and who is included in that group?
In conjunction with Mason County Assessor Ron Hickman, Superintendent Suzanne Dickens stated the increase of $2.88 per month is based on a home with an assessed value of $70,000. It was also stated that since homes are assessed at 60 percent of their actual market value, the home with a $70,000 assessed value would have a fair market value of $120,000. According to Dickens and Hickman, the average home in Mason County is assessed at $70,000.
As previously stated, the excess levy is a $8.5 million levy, is a renewal of the current levy, which was passed on Nov. 4, 2008 and expires on June 30, 2014. It was also stated this levy has continuously been in place since May 24, 1950.
“I think the most important fact is the levy has been continuously renewed since May 24, 1950,” Dickens said. “It has provided free textbooks, supplies and equipment to all students in the Mason County Schools. Additionally, all field trips, athletics, academic competitions and PRO officers are funded by the levy. Much of the technology in the schools as well utilities are paid. Without the levy parents would have to purchase textbooks and supplies as well as pay fees to play sports.”
For further explanation of the areas the excess levy will fund, see the Oct. 25 edition of the Point Pleasant Register.