POINT PLEASANT — It’s been said that everything rolls downhill.
With Mason County facing one of its bleakest budget years in recent memory, county officials will not be exempt from feeling the pinch of a loss in personal property revenue.
As reported in an adjacent story on the county’s budget woes, the loss in revenue has been severe enough that the county has dropped from being in Class II to Class III by the state when it comes to minimum and maximum valuation of property. The classifications determine the compensation of elected county officials. In all, there are 10 classifications the state recognizes in determining funding for these offices.
Starting July 1, county office holders will see a 3 percent decrease in salary. This means county commissioners will go from making $36,300 to $35,640 annually; the county clerk and circuit clerk positions will each go from making $54,780 to $53,460 annually; the base pay for both the sheriff and assessor will go from $44,220 to $43,890 annually; the prosecuting attorney will go from making $94,400 to $92,200 annually.
This type of funding system was put in place by the West Virginia Legislature on July 1, 1996, and it says the counties within the state will be grouped into 10 classes based on assessed valuation of property, all classes. These 10 classes and the minimum and maximum valuation of property, all classes, established to determine the classification of each county are as follows: Class I $2 billion to no limit; Class II $1.5 billion to $1.99 billion; Class III $1 billion to $1.49 billion; Class IV $700 million to $999.9 million; Class V $600 million to $699.9 million; Class VI $500 million to $599.9 million; Class VII $400 million to $499.9 million; Class VIII $300 million to $399.9 million; Class IX $200 million to $299.9 million; Class X $0 to $199.9 million.