MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County is expected to see a significant increase in tax revenues as we get deeper into Fiscal Year 2025.

The Monongalia County Commission unanimously approved the amended county budget as part of their regular meeting on Wednesday, where an approximately $44.2 million spending plan was approved for the fiscal year. This includes the anticipation of an increase in revenues of approximately 15.3 percent despite no changes in the county’s base levy rates, with estimated tax revenues projected to be just over $29.4 million.

“We, as a levy and body, did not raise taxes,” said Commissioner Jeff Arnett on the increase in revenues. “Our levy rate from last year has stayed the same—that is, a state-mandated valuation that was done on property that increased property values, which then correlated to larger tax revenues—and also some other properties coming online that were developed,” he said.

Monongalia County rates will remain at 22 cents per $100 of assessed value for Class II (owner-occupied) property and 44 cents for rental properties in a municipality (Class III) or the county (Class IV) as part of the county budget, the lowest rates in the state. The increase in property taxes was determined after an increase of over 14 percent in tax assessments across the three property classes.

A majority of the expenditures as part of the FY25 county budget (approximately 54.5 percent) are dedicated to general government expenditures, valued at approximately $24.1 million. This account covers budgets for elected offices, insurance for employees, facilities, data processing, planning and zoning, and justice center bonds. Approximately $13.59 million (30.75 percent of the budget) will be directed towards law enforcement jail transfers, court security, regional jail costs, dog wardens, the central garage, and community corrections. These account for close to 500 line items that received funding as part of the county budget, which included allocations for just over 42 percent of grant requests made to the county, a similar amount that was accepted last year.

“Administrator (Renetta McClure) indicated we have the Fiscal Year ’25 budget by major categories: general government, public safety, health and sanitation, culture and recreation, social services, and capital projects,” said Monongalia County Commission President Sean Sikora.

Approximately $2.79 million is allocated for capital improvements, $1.98 million for culture and recreation, $1.3 million for health and sanitation, and $420,000 for social services. The budget also anticipates a carryover from last year’s budget of approximately $10 million.

A new approach was also taken towards the budget’s for constitutional officers within the county, which accounted for a $520,000 allocation that includes employee pay raises on a department-by-department basis. This allowed for more direct financing based on specific requests for each office, which also allowed for more direct feedback between county commissioners, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, the County Assessor’s Office, and other major county constitutional offices.

“We did something different this year, we really went through and asked for justification and specifically requested what and how much money (they) would want for pay raises rather than us just doing it across the board,” Commissioner Tom Bloom said. “I think it really worked,” he said.

The budget also plans to account for the payment of capital improvement projects through the county contingency fund. One of those that are expected to see payments on bonds begin in FY25 is the new Monongalia County 911 Center located by the Morgantown Industrial Park. With a full contingency fund, an increase in tax revenues due to an increasing tax base, and more funding for county services, the commission feels positive about what will be seen heading into the rest of the year.

“This is a very robust budget,” said Sikora. “We have a lot of capital projects that are planned in this budget, we’re able to continue our funding for nonprofits, we have healthy contingency (funds), this is a very robust and thorough budget,” he said.