County Property Tax Rate May Increase By More Than 40 cents

August 19, 2006
Dwayne Page

Your county property taxes may be going up this fall.

Just how much hasn't been determined yet, but the county budget committee is considering recommending to the county commission that the tax rate be increased by 43 cents per $100 dollars of assessed value.

County Mayor Mike Foster met with members of the committee Thursday night and another meeting is set for Monday night to hammer out a proposal.

Foster says if the final proposal is to increase the rate by 43 cents, the distribution would most likely be as follows: General Fund- seven cents, Debt Service-20 cents, School Budget- 13 cents, and Highway Department- 3 cents.

The local road department has never received a share of the property tax rate but Foster says if three cents is allocated to roads, it would be for the purpose of offsetting a loss of state funds.

According to Foster, rising fixed costs is the reason for much of the needed new revenue. For example, in the General Fund, state retirement contributions, as mandated by the state, are up by 59.1% or $40,000; health insurance costs have increased by 14.7% or $16,000; and liability insurance premiums are up 5% or $6,000. Other county departments, including schools, have fixed costs that have also increased and costs of fuel and utilities including natural gas are up.

In addition, Foster says the proposed new budget includes small pay raises of 50 cents an hour for full time employees and 25 cents an hour for part time workers. Other extras include funds to purchase a new ambulance and two patrol cars and $75,000 to build and equip a new fire hall in the Rock Castle community.

The budget committee will finalize the proposed spending plan soon and present it to the county commission for passage, probably in September.

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