CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County voters spoke loud and clear during Saturday’s school and library system excess levy vote—‘no new taxes.’

Unofficial results Saturday night showed 17,590 (76 percent) voting against the levy and only 5,501 (24 percent) voting in favor.

Approval would have essentially uncapped the current 65 percent excess levy which finances many items in the school system. The levy would also have provided $3 million a year for the county library system, which represents 40 percent of the system’s budget, money it lost because the Kanawha County BOE no longer is mandated to fund it.

Kanawha County School Board President Pete Thaw, the only board member against the levy, said voters avoided a big financial bomb with Saturday’s vote. Thaw said despite the “dire predictions” of what might happen in the school system without the additional funding “the sun will come out tomorrow.”

The 65 percent excess levy is separate and remains in place.

Charleston attorney Tom Heywood, who headed up the pro-levy committee, told MetroNews it was clear residents don’t want to pay more taxes. He said the levy committee tried to highlight the importance of the vote but the effort failed.

Heywood also serves on the Kanawha County libraries foundation board said he would expect significant cuts to the library system. He said that could include the closing of branch libraries and discontinuing the Bookmobile.

In much less controversial votes Saturday, Hancock and Brooke county voters approved their school systems’ excess levies



bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Benthere

    This the very reason Kanawha County can not create job growth. Funded school systems are a huge positive when national companies look to relocate jobs. Has anyone every looked at a business survey for the metro Charleston area? Low in every ranking and this is one of the important catogories. Strong vibrant communities with the same type of economies embrace education and are willing to pay. Dying economic areas more often than not lost the vision and the will to be better. Detroit the sequel will be at the front door of Charleston and the state of WV.

    • Tom

      West Virginia is ranked 19th nationally for per pupil spending on education, but ranked near the last in educating our children, where is all of the money going that they still need more and more.

    • wvguy

      This couldn't be because of all the years of liberal democrats running the state. If you want a change in the direction we are going, try electing new people for a change and get rid of the life long politicians. They have ruined this state and they keep getting back in office year after year. If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

    • GW

      I would love to see all the naysayers run a school system the "right" way. They have no idea. It is not as black and white as they believe.

  • BAC

    A salute to Nelson Robinson, who put his own money into a last minute campaign to defeat the Kan. Co. tax grab!

  • Jim N Charleston


    I'm Jim N Charleston & I approve this message cause I won't be a rubber stamp for radical tax & spend wing of B.O.E & librarians every where

    • wvtd

      hoppy made it sound like only bad people are against the levy in his interview with mr thaw Friday. I guess he is afraid of not getting a interview if he steps out of line. Mr Thaw, thank you for standing up for the working men and women of Kanawha county!

  • Joseph Goebbels

    All I needed to hear was Danny Jones and Kent Carper were in support of it and that was was enough for me to vote against it.
    I'm tired of the City of Charleston using all the county tax resource to bolster that city..

    The west side of Charleston is a tax deficent for the whole county yet likely 60% of Kan. Education funding is poured into that area... The state of the art schools they have compared to the rest of the county schools is unbelievable..
    Danny Jones and Kent Carper need to let Charleston take of itself and quit taking from the rest of the county...

    • wvtd

      kent is no friend to blue color workers unless you are in a union. remember the fund raiser for harry reid? a great friend of coal, he is on board with the former mayor of new York city, Bloomberg and is pushing his radical & extremist gun control plan. why do the rich fear the middle class so much? we stand in their way of taking total control over every aspect of our lives.

  • Dale

    It's time to shake up Kan. Co. Comm. & Kan. Co. Courthouse public office holders too. Clean the slate!!

    • wvtd

      big time! lets start in 2014 and get rid of these professional politicians who seem to know what is better for us than we do.

      • wvguy

        I'm in. Let's do it.

  • Joe

    The teacher unions are freaking out now. The dirty little secret will now be exposed. The annual salary step increases that are never mentioned during the teacher whining about pay comes from county level levies.

    Only when it is to their advantage to access state level taxpayer funds do they become state employees.

    • cb

      I agree with most things posted here, but really lets discuss teacher pay.

      Do teachers in this state make more money than average citizens? Yes of course they do.

      However, this is the only state I have lived in where people would consider teacher pay a good paying job. In my opinion that creates a couple of problems. One is that people who do not really wish to be teachers, choose this career path to find a decent paying job close to home. What other degree can you get in this state that would guarantee you a job in your community, whether it is rural or urban? The answer is there are not many. The second thing is that the good teachers are not nearly compensated enough. The work these people put in is insane, most of the time these arent the people complaining the loudest for raises. They are to busy working to generate these raises.

      It is time to start judging teachers on merit, not on test scores but on the actual job they do testing.

      • Joe


        Great comment and I absolutely agree. We have many high performing teachers in WV that should receive merit and performance-based pay increases. WV just named its teacher of the year. She, along with the four other nominees should automatically receive a significant raise for their performance. Unfortunately, no teacher gets a raise unless they all do.
        Seniority dictates everything.

        Apparently, we can identify and nominate the best countywide and statewide performing teachers for annual recognition, but can't implement a performance-based assessment process.

        • GW

          County and state teachers of the year can be self-nominated. This is truth. Seniority does not dictate much at all. Just because you went to school does not qualify you to run one. If you could see the future of education you would cringe. Very few qualified teachers are out there. Most treat it a a babysitting gig. This used to be the minority of teachers, but it is the majority now. But lets go ahead and cut teacher pay since it is such a popular career choice.

          • Joe

            Uh....then why would we increase salaries if, per your words, ''there are few qualified teachers and the majority treat it as a babysitting gig''?!

          • Wirerowe

            Constantly on this site and in the media" advocates"for the teachers say that seniority doesn't matter .Then it would seem that there would be no problem codifying that seniority doesn't matter. When that come up the advocates run around with their hairs on fire saying that will lead to the end of civilization. Methinks they protest too much and indeed seniority does matter.

  • Chuck

    And people wonder why WV is always portrayed as an ignorant state..........

    • wirerowe

      Because we have West Virginians that continue to use non sequiturs???

  • Hillbilly

    I think if the Teachers Unions wanting more and more would stop then the public would be more in favor of helping the schools.

  • Vote NO

    Way to go, everyone!! For once, WE told the government to keep your hands off of OUR MONEY!!

    Of course, they will now spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a special election, complete with scare tactics about children being taught in alleys and writing on leaves if it isn't passed.

  • wvtd

    ever notice how it is the wealthy attorneys who want to raise the working men and women's taxes? what's a few more dollars to those who drive Mercedes and lives in 250.000 dollar houses? time to vote these hacks out of office too. but I guess they know what's better for us than we do, sound familiar? kind of like the mastermind of obmacare.

    • Jeremy

      Heck at this point, my little 2 bedroom house went from worth $78,000 to $103,000 in terms of tax liability in the last two years, while the market value of about $82,000 didn't change. With that logic (county government, not yours) a small four bedroom house would be worth $250,000 for tax purposes (oh course, unless you are Darell McGraw, then your house's value for tax purposes went down during this time.)

  • Jake

    Jane, nothing is stopping you from writing a check over and above your property tax bill and giving it directly to the library. You're just mad you can't spend my money.

    • wvtd

      write some checks jane you can obviously afford it as for me and my family we are being taxed to death. write a check kent carper yourself you can afford it as can your friends harry reid, Bloomberg and obama. we have had enough of you all and your raise taxes on the backs of blue collar workers. get some Prozac for the depression jane I think obamcare will pay for that.

  • Jane

    So depressing. And libraries still serve an important function since use of libraries has increased with more computer usage. But that will not be true in Kanawha County any more. Sad.

    • wvguy

      Jane, I'm sure if you and the 5,501 people that voted for this want to write a check to donate to the library, they would take it. Otherwise, stop whining.

      • Jake

        those 5501 people can make up the difference by writing a check in addition to their property tax in the amount of $545.36 That would give the library the $3M they want. How many do you think will do it? I won't hold my breath on any.

    • realitycheck

      the downtown library is a daytime homeless shelter

      • BAC

        You are correct on that--the downtown library is where the loafers and street people sit and play on the internet all day. And to think that they've wanted to build an expensive new building near the Clay Center! For that? Better to put the books in the schools than what this has become.

    • Joseph Goebbels

      Well, then when a new Library had a chance to be re-located to the higher population area of western Kanawha they should of done so instead of letting Carper and Jones arm twist in keeping it in the low traffic area of Charleston..

      • GregG

        You don't go against King Danny.

  • C. F. T.

    Uncapped excess, excess levy no way no how. One small step in what we can only hope becomes taxpayer revolt against high taxes and big government, most importantly via MAJORITY Vote.

  • Whatamoroon

    There is so much fat in state and county government it's no wonder WV leads the nation in obesity.

  • Dale

    Libraries are becoming obsolete with internet. But what to do with all those routers?

    • PB and J

      Yes they are! They only seem to be a hub for the homeless and public internet porn watchers. Those routers should go to the Kanawha County School System as a consolation prize.