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Introduced Version Senate Bill 1008 History

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WEST virginia Legislature

2017 FIrst Extraordinary session

FISCAL NOTEIntroduced

Senate Bill 1008

By Senators Carmichael (Mr. President) and Prezioso
[By Request of the Executive]

[Introduced May 24, 2017; Referred to the Committee on Finance]

A BILL to amend and reenact §11-8-6f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §18-9A-2 and §18-9A-11 of said code, all relating to public school support; removing limit on increase in total property tax revenues if the current regular levy rates of the county boards of education were to be imposed; increasing the regular levy rates for the 2018 tax year and beyond; providing that counties meeting certain requirements may decrease levy rates only to the extent the rate exceeds the county’s total basic foundation program; deleting required periodic legislative review of definition of “net enrollment”; defining terms; requiring the state board to utilize the maximum levies for general current expense purposes beginning with the 2018-2019 school year calculations; and making technical changes.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


That §11-8-6f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §18-9A-2 and §18-9A-11 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.

ARTICLE 8. LEVIES.

§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.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, for the 2017 tax year, the regular levy rates for the county boards of education shall be: (1) For Class I property, 19.40 cents per $100; (2) for Class II property, 38.80 cents per $100; (3) for Class III and IV property, 77.60 cents per $100.  Beginning with the 2018 tax year and thereafter, the regular levy rates for county boards of education shall be the sum of the levy rates set forth in subdivisions (1), (2) and (3), section six-c of this article for each class of property, which are: (1) For Class I property, 22.95 cents per $100; (2) for Class II property, 45.9 cents per $100; and (3) for Class III and Class IV property, 91.8 cents per $100: Provided, That annually beginning with the 2018 tax year and thereafter, county boards of education with a local share for the upcoming school year that exceeds the county’s total basic foundation program computed under section twelve, article nine-a, chapter eighteen may decrease their regular levy rates to a rate that would reduce the overall projected regular levy tax collections for the county by an amount no more than the difference between their local share and their total basic foundation program.

(c) (b) 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) (c) 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) (d) 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.


CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 9A. PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPPORT.


§18-9A-2. Definitions.

For the purpose of this article:

(a) "State board" means the West Virginia Board of Education.

(b) "County board" or "board" means a county board of education.

(c) "Professional salaries" means the state legally mandated salaries of the professional educators as provided in article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code.

(d) "Professional educator" shall be is synonymous with and shall have has the same meaning as "teacher" as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, and includes technology integration specialists.

(e) "Professional instructional personnel" means a professional educator whose regular duty is as that of a classroom teacher, librarian, attendance director or school psychologist. A professional educator having both instructional and administrative or other duties shall be included as professional instructional personnel for that ratio of the school day for which he or she is assigned and serves on a regular full-time basis in appropriate instruction, library, attendance or psychologist duties.

(f) "Professional student support personnel" means a "teacher" as defined in section one, article one of this chapter who is assigned and serves on a regular full-time basis as a counselor or as a school nurse with a bachelor's degree and who is licensed by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses. For all purposes except for the determination of the allowance for professional educators pursuant to section four of this article, professional student support personnel are professional educators.

(g) "Service personnel salaries" means the state legally mandated salaries for service personnel as provided in section eight-a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code.

(h) "Service personnel" means all personnel as provided in section eight, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code. For the purpose of computations under this article of ratios of service personnel to net enrollment, a service employee shall be is counted as that number found by dividing his or her number of employment days in a fiscal year by two hundred: Provided, That the computation for any service person employed for three and one-half hours or less per day as provided in section eight-a, article four, chapter eighteen-a of this code shall be is calculated as one half an employment day.

(i) "Net enrollment" means the number of pupils enrolled in special education programs, kindergarten programs and grades one to twelve, inclusive, of the public schools of the county. Net enrollment further shall include:

(1) Adults enrolled in regular secondary vocational programs existing as of the effective date of this section, subject to the following:

(A) Net enrollment includes no more than one thousand of those adults counted on the basis of full-time equivalency and apportioned annually to each county in proportion to the adults participating in regular secondary vocational programs in the prior year counted on the basis of full-time equivalency; and

(B) Net enrollment does not include any adult charged tuition or special fees beyond that required of the regular secondary vocational student;

(2) Students enrolled in early childhood education programs as provided in section forty-four, article five of this chapter, counted on the basis of full-time equivalency;

(3) No pupil shall may be counted more than once by reason of transfer within the county or from another county within the state, and no pupil shall be counted who attends school in this state from another state;

(4) The enrollment shall be modified to the equivalent of the instructional term and in accordance with the eligibility requirements and rules established by the state board; and

(5) For the purposes of determining the county's basic foundation program only, for any county whose net enrollment as determined under all other provisions of this definition is less than one thousand four hundred, the net enrollment of the county shall be increased by an amount to be determined in accordance with the following:

(A) Divide the state's lowest county student population density by the county's actual student population density;

(B) Multiply the amount derived from the calculation in paragraph (A) of this subdivision by the difference between one thousand four hundred and the county's actual net enrollment;

(C) If the increase in net enrollment as determined under this subdivision plus the county's net enrollment as determined under all other provisions of this subsection is greater than one thousand four hundred, the increase in net enrollment shall be reduced so that the total does not exceed one thousand four hundred; and

(D) During the 2008-2009 interim period and every three interim periods thereafter, the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability shall review this subdivision to determine whether or not these provisions properly address the needs of counties with low enrollment and a sparse population density

(j) "Sparse-density county" means a county whose ratio of net enrollment, excluding any increase in the net enrollment of counties, pursuant to subdivision (5), subsection (i) of this section, of the definition of "net enrollment", to the square miles of the county is less than five.

(k) "Low-density county" means a county whose ratio of net enrollment, excluding any increase in the net enrollment of counties, pursuant to subdivision (5), subsection (i) of this section, of the definition of "net enrollment", to the square miles of the county is equal to or greater than five but less than ten.

(l) "Medium-density county" means a county whose ratio of net enrollment, excluding any increase in the net enrollment of counties, pursuant to subdivision (5), subsection (i) of this section, of the definition of "net enrollment", to the square miles of the county is equal to or greater than ten but less than twenty.

(m) "High-density county" means a county whose ratio of net enrollment, excluding any increase in the net enrollment of counties, pursuant to subdivision (5), subsection (i) of this section, of the definition of "net enrollment", to the square miles of the county is equal to or greater than twenty.

(n) “Levies for general current expense purposes” means ninety percent of the levy rate for county boards of education calculated or set by the Legislature pursuant to section six f, article eight, chapter eleven of this code.

(o) "Maximum levies for general current expense purposes" means ninety percent of the maximum levy rate for county boards of education as derived from the sum of the levy rates in subdivisions (1), (2) and (3), section six-c, article eight, chapter eleven of this code for each class of property.

(o) (p) "Technology integration specialist" means a professional educator who has expertise in the technology field and is assigned as a resource teacher to provide information and guidance to classroom teachers on the integration of technology into the curriculum.

(p) (q) "State aid eligible personnel" means all professional educators and service personnel employed by a county board in positions that are eligible to be funded under this article and whose salaries are not funded by a specific funding source such as a federal or state grant, donation, contribution or other specific funding source not listed.

§18-9A-11. Computation of local share; appraisal and assessment of property; valuations for tax increment financing purposes; computations in growth counties; public library support.


(a) On the basis of each county's certificates of valuation as to all classes of property as determined and published by the assessors pursuant to section six, article three, chapter eleven of this code for the next ensuing fiscal year in reliance upon the assessed values annually developed by each county assessor pursuant to articles one-c and three of that chapter, the state board shall for each county compute by application of the levies for general current expense purposes, as defined in section two of this article, the amount of revenue which the levies would produce if levied upon one hundred percent of the assessed value of each of the several classes of property contained in the report or revised report of the value made to it by the Tax Commissioner as follows: Provided, That beginning with the calculations for the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter, the state board shall utilize the maximum levies for general current expense purposes:

(1) For each fiscal year beginning before July 1, 2014, the state board shall first take ninety-five percent of the amount ascertained by applying these rates to the total assessed public utility valuation in each classification of property in the county. For each fiscal year beginning after June 30, 2014, the The state board shall first take ninety-six percent of the amount ascertained by applying these rates to the total assessed public utility valuation in each classification of property in the county; and

(2) For each fiscal year beginning before July 1, 2014, the state board shall then apply these rates to the assessed taxable value of other property in each classification in the county as determined by the Tax Commissioner and shall deduct therefrom five percent as an allowance for the usual losses in collections due to discounts, exonerations, delinquencies and the like. For each fiscal year beginning after June 30, 2014, the The state board shall then apply these rates to the assessed taxable value of other property in each classification in the county as determined by the Tax Commissioner and shall deduct therefrom four percent as an allowance for the usual losses in collections due to discounts, exonerations, delinquencies and the like. All of the amount so determined shall be added to the ninety-five or ninety-six percent, as applicable, of public utility taxes computed as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection and this total shall be further reduced by the amount due each county assessor's office pursuant to section eight, article one-c, chapter eleven of this code and this amount shall be the local share of the particular county.

As to any estimations or preliminary computations of local share required prior to the report to the Legislature by the Tax Commissioner, the state shall use the most recent projections or estimations that may be available from the Tax Department for that purpose.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the computation of local share for public school support continue to be based upon actual real property values rather than assumed assessed real property values that are based upon an assessment ratio study, and that the annual amount of local share for which a county board of education is responsible continue to be computed without reference to whether the real property assessments in that county were at least fifty-four percent of market value in the prior year as indicated by the assessment ratio study. Accordingly, the effective date of the operation of this section as amended and reenacted during 2014, and the effective date of the operation of the repeal of section two-a of this article and the operation of the repeal of section five-b, article one-c, chapter eleven of this code, all as provided under this enactment, are expressly made retrospective to June 30, 2013.

(c) Whenever in any year a county assessor or a county commission fails or refuses to comply with this section in setting the valuations of property for assessment purposes in any class or classes of property in the county, the State Tax Commissioner shall review the valuations for assessment purposes made by the county assessor and the county commission and shall direct the county assessor and the county commission to make corrections in the valuations as necessary so that they comply with the requirements of chapter eleven of this code and this section and the Tax Commissioner may enter the county and fix the assessments at the required ratios. Refusal of the assessor or the county commission to make the corrections constitutes grounds for removal from office.

(d) For the purposes of any computation made in accordance with this section, in any taxing unit in which tax increment financing is in effect pursuant to article eleven-b, chapter seven of this code, the assessed value of a related private project shall be the base-assessed value as defined in section two of said article.

(e) For purposes of any computation made in accordance with this section, in any county where the county board of education has adopted a resolution choosing to use the Growth County School Facilities Act set forth in section six-f, article eight, chapter eleven of this code, estimated school board revenues generated from application of the regular school board levy rate to new property values, as that term is designated in said section, may not be considered local share funds and shall be subtracted before the computations in subdivisions (1) and (2), subsection (a) of this section are made.

(f) The Legislature finds that public school systems throughout the state provide support in varying degrees to public libraries through a variety of means including budgeted allocations, excess levy funds and portions of their regular school board levies. A number of public libraries are situated on the campuses of public schools and several are within public school buildings serving both the students and public patrons. To the extent that public schools recognize and choose to avail the resources of public libraries toward developing within their students such legally recognized elements of a thorough and efficient education as literacy, interests in literature, knowledge of government and the world around them and preparation for advanced academic training, work and citizenship, public libraries serve a legitimate school purpose and may do so economically. Therefore, county boards are encouraged to support public libraries within their counties.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase regular levy rates, and allow counties meeting certain requirements to decrease levy rates to the extent the rate exceeds the county's total basic foundation program, and to set forth maximum levies for general current expense purposes to be used annually beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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