Residents in Berkeley County will vote Sept. 26 on whether to hike property taxes to back a $51.5 million bond issue that would partially finance $96.5 million of school construction and renovation projects.

If the tax increase is approved, residents will pay about $43 more a year per $100,000 of a home’s appraised value.

The county also would expect to receive $25 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority if the tax hike passes. The Berkeley Board of Education also will request another $20 million from the authority for three other projects, including a $53.5 million high school.

Berkeley County, which is located on the state’s eastern border near Maryland and Pennsylvania, has 17,214 students, according to the county’s Web site. Construction on the high school would begin in spring 2010.

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