However, that money was not included in the 2009/2010 fiscal year’s draft budget that was reviewed, although McGinnis said he intends to include it in the tentative budget that is to be approved in May.
The money is an adjustment in impact revenue for the 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 fiscal years, as federal officials believe federal properties within the county were under-assessed, said McGinnis.
In late September last year, the district resubmitted an application for federal impact revenue, also commonly known as Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT), based on new guidelines, and later on in the fall received notification of the increased PILT money, according to Trigg County Assistant Superintendent Beth Sumner.
“I consider these revenues as a one-time adjustment,” McGinnis said. “I do not know what to expect in future federal impact receipts. We do not know what to expect this year (FY 2008/2009).”
Although McGinnis made suggestions about how the money should be used, no action was taken at the meeting, as he wanted the board to wait until after the Kentucky General Assembly approves a state budget.
Between Land Between the Lakes and Fort Campbell, the federal government owns between one-fourth and one-third of the county, and this portion is excluded from local taxation, so the government gives federal impact money to counties with federal property or facilities.
However, according to McGinnis, federal impact revenue to the county has been spotty at best, generally ranging from roughly $12,000 to slightly more than $100,000. McGinnis called $12,000 “pocket change” when compared to the school district’s multi-million-dollar budget.
McGinnis said that while federal officials have also declared over-payments before and demanded that counties, including Trigg County, return their federal impact money, he considered it a remote possibility in this case.
Trigg County Assistant Superintendent Travis Hamby said that during the assessment of federal lands such as Land Between the Lakes, if the county were to assume LBL to be developed, not all of it would be taxable, as there would have to be roads, schools and churches, which can’t be taxed.
“We have to estimate … what would be non-taxable property,” Hamby said.
Places were the money, which the will electronically transfer to the district, could be used, McGinnis said, could include roofs and other facility needs, buses, phone systems, safety improvements and textbooks and other instructional needs.
“The district could spend all of it, spend none of it, or somewhere in between,” the superintendent said, adding he would place most of it in a contingency, given current economic conditions.
McGinnis said that although $2.3 million is a great deal of money, the school district could spend all of it very quickly, as unmet facility needs alone cost $15 million.
McGinnis thanked Hamby, as well as Mike Bryan and his staff at the Property Valuation Administrator’s Office for their hard work. The PVA office is in charge of assessing the property to find out what the county’s PILT will be.