PRESS RELEASE - Calhoun Schools

Roger Propst, Superintendent

On March 4, 2011, a special election will be held to approve/disapprove the sale of $3,560,000 in public school bonds; the bulk of those funds being to provide matching funds of $2,814,758 to supplement a WV School Building Authority Grant of $5,656,162 for the construction of a new Arnoldsburg PK4 elementary school.

The current school sits primarily in the flood plain and has been flooded at least five times in recent years. The original portion of the school was built in 1951. The remaining funds would be to add air conditioning to the gymnasiums at Calhoun Middle/High School which would make attending Fall sports events and high school graduation much more pleasant for students and attendees.

The Calhoun County Board of Education, in considering whether to offer citizens the opportunity to vote on this bond issue, set as its number one requirement, that PROPERTY TAXES COULD NOT INCREASE.

The amount of the bonds, $3,560,000, is the amount generated over the life of the term using current tax levy rates in place to retire the 1996 Bond that is paying off in June 2011. Thus, should voters approve the bond issue, the school bond tax levy rates would continue at or below the current level.

Some have asked that should overall appraised values of property in the county increase over the term of the bond issue, would their taxes increase accordingly? The answer is no.

The principal and interest to pay off the bonds is fixed at the beginning of the term, much like a fixed rate mortgage on a home. School bond tax levy rates are set annually to generate only the amount necessary to pay the principal and interest.

Therefore, if appraised values increased, the school bond tax levy rates would decrease so as to produce only the amount needed for that year. Of course if a property owner makes improvements to their property that result in increases to its value, taxes would increase for that property owner, just as they would if the bond issue was not in place.

I encourage everyone to attend upcoming meetings on the issue. Special Board meetings are scheduled on February 17th at Calhoun Middle/High School, and February 24th at Arnoldsburg Elementary School.

Please seek answers to questions you might have in order to make informed decisions. Please contact the Superintendent's office at 304-354-7011, Ext 17 if you would like more information.

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