School board considers tax rate for the upcoming year.

By TJ Caudill

HAZARD— The Perry County Board of Education had a special called board meeting on August 13. The primary reason for the meeting was the consideration and approval of the of the 2015-2016 tax rates.

Jody Maggard, Finance Officer of Perry County School District, spoke on the property tax assessments sent to them by The Kentucky Department of Education, which they received from The Kentucky Department of Revenue.

“We have seen over the last two years now… the property assessments go down, last year it was substantial, we’ve seen a substantial decrease in the property rates and now this year its exactly one percent still a decrease in our property values across Perry County. Last year our property tax assessments in the county were 1.3 billion and actually 1.369, this year its 1.361.” Maggard said. He also noted that while it wasn’t a tremendous decrease, it still affects how the Perry County School Systems maintain their revenue because they are getting less property value, so their rates have to be fluctuated or adjusted.

Maggard explained during the meeting that a compensating rate would allow them to collect close to the same amount of revenue that they did last year, and also told the board members what a 4 percent rate was.

“4% rate, you hear a lot about that, is not a 4% increase, but the 4 percent rate allows us too collect 4 percent more revenue than we did in the previous year. If we did that we would basically we’re scheduled to collect 231,000 more dollars this year than what we did in the previous year. By setting the complicating rate, we would actually decrease our revenue by 54,000 dollars because of exoneration and things like that.” he said.

John C. Combs, chairman of the board, was conflicted about about the tax rates.

“Me, I see where we, you know, need to but by the same token I don’t want to put a burden on these people… Even right now anything you put on these people is kind of a burden. What I am going to do is make a motion to go back to the compensating rate. I’m just one person here and that’s my ability to be that way and that’s the way I feel. Somewhere down the road we will have to adjust it in the coming years, but I don’t think it’s this year.” he said.

That board members had two options to choose from with the compensating rate without the exoneration recovery or with the exoneration recovery. If the board members chose the compensating rate without the exoneration, the Perry County school systems revenue would be $54,000 less than the previous year. If the they took it with the recovery, it would $13,000 more.

Combs motioned to go back to the compenstating rate with the exoneration recovery, and the motion was seconded by James Missup. All five members voted yes for the compenstating rate with the exoneration recovery.

TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.

By TJ Caudill

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