School boards across the commonwealth ponder property tax increases amid pushback
BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. - Each August the responsibility falls on Kentucky’s school boards to set property tax rates. What can normally be a routine matter is receiving a lot of push back in different parts of the state.
State law allows school boards to adopt a tax rate, not subject to recall, that provides four percent more revenue than the year before. So each year the rate can go down, stay the same or go up.
Folks in Boyle County say they aren’t happy that rates there are rising, just three years after their school board approved a nickel tax raise.
Tom Ellis of Boyle County is simply tired of it. He is collecting hundreds of signatures on a petition opposing the proposed tax hike.
“At home I probably have 15 more pages, this is just the one I took out,” said Ellis of his petition. “Everybody feels the pinch of a tax increase, and we are not the richest county in Kentucky."
Right now, Kentucky Department of Education records show the tax rate in Boyle County is 70.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Thursday night, the school board proposed a tax increase that is expected to be between 0 percent and 1.4 percent.
Lexington has also seen its fair share of controversy concerning property taxes. The Fayette County school board aims to raise the county’s rate by a nickel in order to fund a new school safety initiative, and some homeowners are firmly against the change.
Thursday night the Scott County school board is also holding a public hearing and meeting to vote on property tax rates. They are proposing no change, opting to stay at the same rate as last year, a little over 56 cents.