Taylor School Board raises tax rate

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Rate goes from 58.2 to 59.8

By Zac Oakes


The Taylor County Board of Education voted to increase the tax rate on real and personal property from 58.2 to 59.8, as well as levy that tax on marine and aircraft.

The vote passed 4-1 with board member Jan Burkhead being the lone dissenting vote.

Burkhead explained his reasoning for voting against the tax increase.

“I prayed about it, and I tell you, we have taxed the people so much,” Burkhead said. “I mean, it is like the working man has to pay everything… The working class people are just taxed to death. You take a young couple starting out. If they buy a home or build a home, it takes everything they have to get by. I’m sorry, I know they need the money, but I just don’t have the heart to vote for it.”

Board chair David Hall said a tax increase is necessary.

“We’ve all really thought about and prayed about this, and it’s not something we take lightly,” Hall said. “There is a burden of necessity for why we do this, not because we don’t care.”

Board member Jason Cox said the board members had to do what was best for the students in the school district.

“Our job sitting here is to do what we know we have to do for the children of this district, and none of us take that lightly,” Cox added.

The increase is expected to result in an additional $195,355 in revenue for the school district. The additional revenue will be allocated toward the cost of collections totaling $7,814; $40,000 toward the building fund; $49,181 for instruction; $49,180 for transportation, and $49,180 for maintenance of plant.

For 2017-2018, the Taylor County School District’s tax rate was 100th out of 173 school districts in the state. The highest in the state, from 2017-2018, belongs to Silver Grove Independent Schools in Campbell County at 124.5. The lowest in the state belongs to Wolfe County at 34.7.

A public hearing was held regarding the tax increase last Thursday. Local resident Gary Osborne was in attendance and voiced his opposition to a tax increase. He asked questions about costs to educate each child in the district and additional money the school district receives in other taxes. Board members didn’t directly answer any questions during the meeting, but Superintendent Charles Higdon Jr. met with Osborne after the meeting.

Teacher Shannon Cox also spoke at the public hearing and said she thought the increase was necessary to help cover costs from cuts at the state level.

“This board wouldn’t ask for a tax increase if it wasn’t necessary,” she said.


In other news

  • District Finance Director Marcie Close spoke about the working budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Kentucky school boards are required to approve a working budget for the upcoming fiscal year in September of each year.

Close said the school district will be working with a total budget of $32,301,988 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The district is maintaining between six and seven percent in its contingency fund, higher than the state-required two-percent.

  • The board approved the purchase of four new school buses through a Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association (KISTA) financing option. The total cost is expected to be around $410,000, but due to funding from the WHAS Crusade for Children, and depreciation, the total cost will be somewhere around $100,000.
  • The board recognized District SRO Bobby Gribbins, TCPC custodian Bill Gilpin, and students Natalie Brockman and Ryan Maynard as part of their TC Achievement Awards.
  • The board approved advertising for a construction manager for the Central Kentucky Career Center, but plan to wait to evaluate their options before making a decision to hire a construction manager.
  • The board went into executive session to discuss pending litigation per KRS 61.810 (1) (c). The pending litigation is related to issues with leaks at Taylor County High School and the company that worked on the roof. No action was taken.


Personnel Report

Retirements — Sharon Floyd, James (Bo) Hoskins

Resignations — Pan Rash

New hires — Garry Cox, TCMS custodian; Hannah Feather, TCMS exceptional education instructional assistant; Matthew Norris, TCMS instructional monitor; Laura Hodges, TCHS assistant track coach

Transfers — Matt Norris, TCHS instructional monitor; Mark Payne, TCMS instructional assistant; Lisa VanMeter, central office account clerk II

Substitutes — Tom Finck


The next regular meeting of the Taylor County Board of Education is set for Monday, Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.