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§11-8-6f. Regular school board levy rate; creation and implementation of Growth County School Facilities Act; creation of Growth County School Facilities Act Fund.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, where any annual appraisal, triennial appraisal or general valuation of property would produce a statewide aggregate assessment that would cause an increase of two percent or more in the total property tax revenues that would be realized were the then current regular levy rates of the county boards of education to be imposed, the rate of levy for county boards of education shall be reduced uniformly statewide and proportionately for all classes of property for the forthcoming tax year so as to cause the rate of levy to produce no more than one hundred two percent of the previous year's projected statewide aggregate property tax revenues from extending the county board of education levy rate, unless subsection (b) of this section is complied with. The reduced rates of levy shall be calculated in the following manner: (1) The total assessed value of each class of property as it is defined by section five of this article for the assessment period just concluded shall be reduced by deducting the total assessed value of newly created properties not assessed in the previous year's tax book for each class of property; (2) the resulting net assessed value of Class I property shall be multiplied by .01; the value of Class II by .02; and the values of Classes III and IV, each by .04; (3) total the current year's property tax revenue resulting from regular levies for the boards of education throughout this state and multiply the resulting sum by one hundred two percent: Provided, That the one hundred two percent figure shall be increased by the amount the boards of education's increased levy provided for in subsection (b), section eight, article one-c of this chapter; (4) divide the total regular levy tax revenues, thus increased in subdivision (3) of this subsection, by the total weighted net assessed value as calculated in subdivision (2) of this subsection and multiply the resulting product by one hundred; the resulting number is the Class I regular levy rate, stated as cents-per-one hundred dollars of assessed value; and (5) the Class II rate is two times the Class I rate; Classes III and IV, four times the Class I rate as calculated in the preceding subdivision.

An additional appraisal or valuation due to new construction or improvements, including beginning recovery of natural resources, to existing real property or newly acquired personal property shall not be an annual appraisal or general valuation within the meaning of this section, nor shall the assessed value of the improvements be included in calculating the new tax levy for purposes of this section. Special levies shall not be included in any calculations under this section.

(b) After conducting a public hearing, the Legislature may, by act, increase the rate above the reduced rate required in subsection (a) of this section if an increase is determined to be necessary.

(c) The State Tax Commissioner shall report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by March 1 of each year on the progress of assessors in each county in assessing properties at the Constitutionally required sixty percent of market value and the effects of increasing the limit on the increase in total property tax revenues set forth in this section to two percent.

(d) Growth County School Facilities Act. -– Legislative findings. -–

The Legislature finds and declares that there has been, overall, a statewide decline in enrollment in the public schools of this state; due to this decline, most public schools have ample space for students, teachers and administrators; however, some counties of this state have experienced significant increases in enrollment due to significant growth in those counties; that those counties experiencing significant increases do not have adequate facilities to accommodate students, teachers and administrators. Therefore, the Legislature finds that county boards of education in those high-growth counties should have the authority to designate revenues generated from the application of the regular school board levy due to new construction or improvements placed in a Growth County School Facilities Act Fund be used for school facilities in those counties to promote the best interests of this state's students.

(1) For the purposes of this subsection, "growth county" means any county that has experienced an increase in second month net enrollment of fifty or more during any three of the last five years, as determined by the state Department of Education.

(2) The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to any growth county, as defined in subdivision (1) of this subsection, that, by resolution of its county board of education, chooses to use the provisions of this subsection.

(3) For any growth county, as defined in subdivision (1) of this subsection, that adopts a resolution choosing to use the provisions of this subsection, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, assessed values resulting from additional appraisal or valuation due to new construction or improvements to existing real property shall be designated as new property values and identified by the county assessor. The statewide regular school board levy rate as established by the Legislature shall be applied to the assessed value designated as new property values and the resulting property tax revenues collected from application of the regular school board levy rate shall be placed in a separate account designated as the Growth County School Facilities Act Fund. Revenues deposited in the Growth County School Facilities Act Fund shall be appropriated by the county board of education for construction, maintenance or repair of school facilities. Revenues in the fund may be carried over for an indefinite length of time and may be used as matching funds for the purpose of obtaining funds from the School Building Authority or for the payment of bonded indebtedness incurred for school facilities. For any growth county choosing to use the provisions of this subsection, estimated school board revenues generated from application of the regular school board levy rate to new property values are not to be considered as local funds for purposes of the computation of local share under the provisions of section eleven, article nine-a, chapter eighteen of this code.

(e) This section, as amended during the legislative session in the year 2004, shall be effective as to any regular levy rate imposed for the county boards of education for taxes due and payable on or after July 1, 2004. If any provision of this section is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provision or its application and to this end the provisions of this section are declared to be severable.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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