LaRue County property owners will see a reduction in school taxes next year.
At the Aug. 15 board meeting, the board unanimously approved to accept the compensating rate, which means that the new tax rate is expected to bring in about the same amount of funding as the previous year.
According to Superintendent Sam Sanders this is the fourth year in a row that LaRue County Schools have taken the compensating rate or less.
“Our board has tried to be sensitive to our taxpayers during the recession,” said Sanders “We realize many people are without jobs and people are struggling right now.”
The board will lose about $100,113 by taking the compensating rate.
Last year, the board could have taken in $114,000 more in revenue by levying the 4 percent rate.
“Many school districts across the state continue to take the 4 percent,” said Sanders “Our board has a goal for the school district to be the pre-eminent school district in the area/state, so I believe the school board will ask for the 4 percent tax rate when the economy improves.”
Tax rates were set as follows:
Real Estate – 45.2 cents per $100 assessed value (down .2 cents from 2010-11)
Tangibles – 45.2 cents per $100 assessed value (down .2 cents from 2010-11)
Motor vehicles – 55.2 cents per $100 assessed value
Utility – 3 percent of receipts
The real estate, tangible and motor vehicle taxes generated $2,249,898 last year in collected funds for the school, less sheriff’s collection fees of 4 percent.
LaRue County is mostly farmland and property assessment values from 2010 show the value at $137,398,748 for LaRue County farms accounting for about 27 percent of overall assessment. Residential property assessment values for 2010 came in on top at $310,079,486 or about 61 percent. Commercial and industrial accounted for a mere 12 percent at $60,259,139.
According to the LaRue County Property Valuation Administration office, land over 10 acres receives a discount of at most $400 per acre with some discounts going as low as $100 per acre depending on specific calculations.
Therefore, LaRue County Schools receives most of their tax funding from residential property owners.
Even with taking a loss in funding, LaRue County Schools have been able to place among the top 20 districts in Kentucky measured for “Return on Investment.”
“We’ve done the absolute best with the money that’s coming in,” said Sanders “But our number one priority is the education …. Having a good school system can make or break a community.”
With an enrollment of 2,468 students at the time of the study, LaRue County showed a higher return than any of its adjacent county districts, spending $5,557 per student while still obtaining high student achievement.
Other surrounding districts spend more per student such as Elizabethtown Independent ($6,565) and Meade County ($5,847).
“I think we get a lot of bang for our buck,” said LaRue County School Board Chairman Price Smith “We have a very conservative budget.”
Other surrounding districts recently approved their tax rates for the 2011-12 year.
The Bardstown Independent School Board opted to levy the 4 percent increase bringing the tax rates to 67.5 cents per $100 of real and personal property up 2.1 from last year. Motor vehicle tax will remain the same at 53.1 cents per $100 in assessed value.
The Elizabethtown Independent School Board also opted to levy the 4 percent increase. The action brings tax rates to 65.0 cents per $100 of real and personal property, up 2.5 from last year. With the new rate in place about $4.3 million in revenue will be generated for the district.
Hardin County Schools opted to maintain the 58.7 tax rate set last year. The action will bring in $1.5 million more in revenue due to increase in property value assessments from last year.