CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Voters in West Virginia’s largest county will go to the polls Saturday to decide on a second excess levy that could take the property tax rate in Kanawha County to the full amount allowed by law, a 100 percent rate already in place in 21 other counties.

If approved, the additional Kanawha County levy would generate $24 million for the school system in its first year, and more over the next five years, while also providing $3 million annually for Kanawha’s County public libraries.

“The future is, kind of, what’s at stake here,” said Robin Rector, a member of the Kanawha County Board of Education.  She said she understands the additional levy proposal comes at a time when many people are struggling financially.

“I feel their pain.  I’m like the rest of them as well.  I don’t care to see my taxes raised,” but Rector said she’s supporting the levy because of the potential impact more investments in education now will have on the community, at large, in the future.

She said the Kanawha board has made good fiscal decisions to cut spending in recent years, but still faces a more than $4 million deficit next year and potential punishments from the state School Building Authority, for future construction projects, if the levy rate is not at 100 percent.

One of the most vocal opponents of the levy proposal, though, is Pete Thaw, president of the Kanawha County Board of Education.

“Number one, we don’t need the money.  Number two, it’s a hardship on the people.  Number three, we spill more than we use now.  It’s ridiculous to give these people more money,” said Thaw of the reasons for his opposition.

Last year, voters in Kanawha County approved an excess levy that capped the tax at a flat rate, 65 percent.  This year’s levy proposal would lift the cap Board members had originally supported as tax relief.  “The taxpayers in Kanawha County deserve some help instead of being abused.  We’re abusing these people,” said Thaw.

Both Thaw and Rector were guests on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Early voting ended Wednesday in Kanawha County.  The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday for Election Day.

In Hancock County, voters will also be deciding on Saturday on the renewal of an excess levy that has been in place there since 1949.  If approved, the levy would generate an estimated $7.1 million toward Hancock County’s annual school budget of $43 million.

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  • wvtd

    if you like the way politicians waste your money and want to pay higher taxes with no positive results then vote yes. we have been hearing this same tired line for years and we are still last in almost every education category there is. we hold the power of the vote so lets use it to say no more taxes for pet spending projects and poor education results. no one wants to go to the library in Charleston and wade thier way through the bums and drunks to just get in the door.

  • realitycheck

    the solution always seems to be to throw money at a problem. of course it never solves the problem. if it did, WV would rank a lot higher in education. What this amounts to is lots of new money to build a new library that will be nothing more than the newest homeless shelter. That's what the current one is.

  • ConservativeRealist

    Judging from the line to vote today - the last day of early voting - and the comments being made outside, I would guess that many are taking the time to vote, "NO".

    I think the Board of Education and the Library are going to get a wake-up call. Perhaps the BOE will reconsider its glowing evaluations of Duerring.

  • Meagen P

    I agree with the others. By not voting, you are saying, yes, go ahead and raise my taxes. I don't need my money. I'll gladly give it to the government to waste.

    By voting no, you are telling the governement to keep its hands off of your money that you work hard for.

  • Big Dave

    I will say it again . . .

    You MUST go out and vote NO!

    For once, we have the chance to decide if we want our taxes raised. How often do we get that chance???

    We have the chance to tell the government NO YOU ARE NOT RAISING MY TAXES!! But you MUST go out and vote or else your TAXES WILL BE RAISED!


  • lifetimehunter

    When a stand is taken the next thing to come is the state let's your schools go to pot.....then takeover time.

  • Matt

    Pete Thaw, president of the Kanawha County Board of Education says “Number one, we don’t need the money. Number two, it’s a hardship on the people. Number three, we spill more than we use now. It’s ridiculous to give these people more money,

    Seems like common sense so where is the issue here??? Why even bring this to a vote?

  • Mike

    Tired of paying for 49th place but among the highest $ spent per student in the nation

  • wirerowe

    VOTE NO !!

    (1) library and school board elections should be seperate. they were paired together because people like libraries.

    (2) the election should be held on the primary date of 2014 which is only 5 months away and would save the voters of the county over $300,000. Election is purposely held on an obscure date when people are at WVU games and Marshall games so that teachers can rule the day. Skewed election.
    (3) People are hurting . Maybe they could pay for what is needed to fund a small hole. They cannot pay for a slush fund and a wish list.
    (4) Nobody has documented why this much money is needed.

    VOTE NO!!

  • Big Dave

    And by the way, you MUST get out and vote no for this! It won't be defeated unless people actually get off their butts and vote NO!
    Do you want your taxes increased? Most times we can do nothing about it, but this time we can! Vote NO to having your taxes increased!!

  • Big Dave

    Vote no!! We are taxed to death as it is. The kids won't do without. It's government and it's too bloated as it is. All they do will be forced to trim the fat, which is what they need to do anyway.

  • Truthteller

    Of coarse the lazy people of Charleston will vote for this. They are tv heads and follow Obuma like the brainwashed slaves they are. You sheeple would are like cattle going to the slaughter. Do any of you have any backbone or guts anymore?
    Stand up for what you don't want. Stop thinking if you go along it will work out better for you. WAKE UP and smell the coffee cowards!!!

  • wvtd

    hell no! we are paying way to much in taxes as it is and the results are just not there.
    our children are still last or almost last in about every category there is except obesity.

    we are taxed enough. how about taking some pay cuts at the board and managing our money better?