FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Citizens of Georgetown and Scott County had their voices heard during a public tax hearing on September 1, 2016. Seven individuals expressed their support for an additional nickel tax to build a second high school, most stating they support this measure fully even though they do not have children or grandchildren in the district that would benefit from the opening of the new school.
During the meeting of the Scott County Board of Education which followed, members voted 5 to 0 to levy a 4% tax increase. This additional tax revenue will support the Scott County Schools general fund only and is different from the nickel tax that has gained community attention in recent weeks. The 4% increase approved by board members on Sept. 1 will increase the local property tax rate to 49.6 cents per $100 in assessed property value up from 49 cents in 2015.
In 2015, a property owner in Scott County with a home valued at $150,000 paid $735 in property taxes. Property taxes for a home with the same value will be $744 for 2016. This modest increase, only $9 per year for a $150,000 home, will net Scott County Schools a projected $1.6 million dollars. This money will support the building fund as well as cost of collections, instruction, transportation, and maintenance.
Total assessed property value in Scott County has increased 5.07% which is indicative of a strong economy and favorable growth of our community. Student enrollment reflects this trend in growth with 166 new students this year bringing total enrollment to 8897 on Aug. 26 as documented by the Department of Student Services.
Higher property assessment numbers decrease the amount of money allocated to Scott County Schools from the state through Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding. SEEK is the main source of state funding for schools. Districts set yearly tax rates as another measure to support schools.
Property taxes account for 24.79% of the general fund for Scott County Schools. There are 173 school districts in Kentucky. In FY15-16, only 13 districts in the state had a lower general fund real estate tax rate than Scott County. Tax rates were lower in Scott County than Bourbon, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Harrison, Owen, and Woodford counties.