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Taxpayers speak against paying higher taxes at city school board public hearing

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 — The Bardstown Board of Education will make a decision on its real estate and personal property tax rates at its noon meeting on Tuesday at the district’s Central Office.

RYAN CLARK

At a public hearing Monday night, the board sought public input on its recommendation to leave the tax rates unchanged from last year. Both school tax rates for real estate and personal property were set in 2019 at 86.4 cents per $100 in value.

The board’s recommendation is to keep the tax rates the same for this year, a move that will generate just over 3 percent in new tax revenue.

The increase in tax revenue is due to the increase in property assessments, Superintendent Ryan Clark told the board Monday night. The assessments for property in the school district saw an increase of $72 million, he said.

Last year the board raised the tax rate to 86.4 cents in order to create a 4 percent increase in overall tax revenue for the district.

Property owners whose property did have an increased assessed value this year will have the same city school tax bill as they did last year.

Despite the fact the proposal is to keep the tax rate the same, two people spoke against the board setting a tax rate that asks the public taxpayer for more money.

“I don’t agree with these continuous tax increases,” Marlene Marks Kasama told the board.

Many taxpayers are on fixed incomes and can’t afford the tax increases, she explained. It has become too easy for the board of education to continue to raise taxes on local taxpayers, she said.

“I respectfully ask that you do what the taxpayers have had to do all these years — make more efficient use of the tax money you already have, and to quit asking mom and pop — also known as the taxpayers — for more and more every year.”

Retired teacher Patricia Murray Boone also spoke against a tax rate that asks local taxpayers to pay more.

“I strongly request you consider the families who are in this district,” she said. “They’re struggling hard to make ends meet.” The COVID-19 pandemic only makes it more difficult to get by, she explained.

The members of the board of education made no comment during the hearing.

NEXT UP. The board meets at noon Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 to adopt a tax rate among other items on its meeting agenda.

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