Kentucky law allows school boards to set tax levies each year so that they can earn up to an additional four percent revenue over the previous year. A public hearing must be held, but the change is not subject to voter recall. If the levy were to bring in more than four percent additional revenue, it would be subject to recall. For the last three years, the revenue in Trigg County has been increased four percent, but actual tax rates have not gone up because of increased property value. Last year, taxes for real property was lowered three-tenths of a cent for each $100 of assessed value to keep the revenue for exceeding four percent.
This year, McGinnis has recommended raising the real property tax levy nine-tenths of a cent and the tangible rate by six-tenths of a cent, bringing both rates to 45.3 cents per $100 of assessed value. The motor vehicle tax will remain at 44.7 cents and the utility tax will stay three percent.
Each year, McGinnis makes his recommendation based on calculations of revenue from the Kentucky Department of Education. They inform him what the tax rates would have to be to gain the additional four percent revenue over the previous year.
At the July 26 meeting, McGinnis and the board members talked about what they see as a disadvantage when it comes to Trigg County’s collection of school revenues. Through the state’s SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) program, the Kentucky Department of Education keeps a disproportionate amount of tax money compared to some districts because of Trigg County’s proximity to the lakes and its high property values. McGinnis said that 30 cents of every $100 of assessed value that the board collects is deducted and goes back to the state. Each district later receives SEEK money from the state.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.