Taxpayers ask school board for relief from another property tax rate increase

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 — The Bardstown Board of Education heard a message, loud and clear from city school taxpayers: Don’t raise our property taxes.

A public hearing on the tax rate Monday evening featured nearly a dozen people, most of whom signed up to speak to the board against a tax increase.

Riggs Boulevard resident William Gies told the board when he first moved into the school district, his first school tax bill “was a shock.” He asked the board to consider the fact that increasing the tax was a hardship on the retirees who pay school taxes but do not get increases every year to help pay for the increase.

Flaget Avenue resident Ann Rosalie Ballard agreed with Gies and asked the board to forgo raising the tax rate this year.

Buckingham Drive resident C.R. Royalty said the board takes the 4 percent tax revenue increase every year.

“Its became a yearly thing that we do this,” Royalty said. “Where does it stop?”

Limestone Boulevard resident Nora Simms pointed to the city and county governments, neither of which have proposed to take the full four percen tax revenue increases in their 2019 tax rates.

Englewood resident Patricia Murray Boone said she couldn’t support raising the taxes as proposed.

“I’m not against education, I’m a retired teacher and I loved to teach,” she explained. “Please don’t raise our taxes again.”


Madison Avenue resident John Sanderson asked the board to have some compassion when it considers the 2019 tax rate. “Look at the faces of these people, and see what effect you’re having on them.”

Superintendent Ryan Clark provided a presentation during the public hearing explaining the district’s finances and the impact that losses of state funding have had — and continue to have — on its funding.

Cuts in state funding force the district to look locally for the funds to make up those losses, Clark explained. Those cuts include funds for early childhood education and student transportation, he said.

Board member Jim Roby said he understood the sentiment of those who spoke to the board regarding the tax rate.


“I was elected to provide our students with the best facility, teachers education and opportunity that money can buy,” he said. “We’re not throwing money to the wind, were paying good teachers a good salary.”

Roby said he knows that the full 4 percent tax revenue increase isn’t popular, but the decision is about doing what’s best for the children of the school district. “And I was elected to do what’s best for the students in this school system.”

Board member Andy Stone thanked those who attended the public hearing, which he noted was the largest turnout by members of the public in years.

He promised that at Tuesday’s school board meeting, he would support board action to take less than the full 4 percent tax revenue increase, a move he’s made in years past as well.

NEXT UP. The Bardstown Board of Education will meet at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in the board meeting room at the school district’s Central Office, 308 North Fifth St.


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