Graves School Board Seeks Property Tax Rate Hike
By WestKyStar Staff
MAYFIELD, KY - A tax hearing will be held tonight as Graves County Schools seek a state government match of the property tax rate to offset five years of state and federal cuts.
The Graves County School District over the years has maintained one of Kentucky’s lowest tax rates. The current property tax rate of 37.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value is ninth lowest among Kentucky’s 174 districts and one of the lowest among the Jackson Purchase’s 12 districts. The proposed increase would make the 2013-2014 property tax rate 44.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
According to school officials, state and federal grant and budget cuts have negatively impacted the district, reducing the investment in Graves County children, in their education to prepare for adult life, and in the future of Graves County itself. Cuts over the past five years have resulted in decreased state funding of $5 million for the Graves County Schools in areas including technology, textbooks, transportation, tutoring, teachers’ professional development to address students’ learning needs, Safe Schools funding to provide the safest environment possible for students and family resource and youth services centers in helping children in economic need.
The additional money generated would be used to address some much-needed and delayed building repair and maintenance. The increase in taxes per year for the average homeowner of a $100,000 house would be only $69 per year or only $5.75 per month.
The Graves County School District will apply to state government to receive matching funds for five cents of the rate Graves County residents would pay. The state’s proposed matching nickel would double Graves County residents’ investment.
A number of Kentucky school districts likely will raise their property tax rates this year. However, even if other school districts retain their current property tax rates from last year, Graves County’s property tax rate for 2012-13 is the very lowest in the Jackson Purchase. Even in the unlikely event that all others would retain last year’s tax rates, Graves County’s proposed property tax rate for 2013-14 would still be third lowest among the Jackson Purchase’s 12 districts:
1. Paducah Independent 74.7
2. Fulton Independent 73.8
3. Mayfield Independent 68.3
4. Murray Independent 56.2
5. Hickman County 52.6
6. Carlisle County 51.9
7. Ballard County 50.9
8. McCracken County 50.4
9. Fulton County 48.1
10. Graves Co Proposed 44.4
11. Marshall County 40.2
12. Calloway County 40.1
13. Graves Co Current 37.5
Tonight’s meeting starts at 6 pm at the Graves County Board of Education Office. A sign up sheet will be available at 5:45 pm for those who would like an opportunity to speak at the hearing.