Taxpayers in the Harlan Independent School District will see a decrease in their tax bills for their real estate and personal property taxes for the upcoming year.
After a motion was made by board member Will Miller and seconded by board member Kat Stacy to approve the compensating rate for the Harlan Independent Board of Education School District, the tax rates for 2013 were set at 38.9 cents for real estate and personal property, 52.3 cents for vehicle tax and noted 5.8 cents will be set aside for participation in Facility Support Program of Kentucky and School Facilities Construction Commission during a meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education on Thursday.
Miller said the tax rate went up last year and he felt “when it goes up then it’s hard to let it go back down.”
“Our assessments values have gone up to a point that the compensating rate is slightly lower than our current rate,” said Superintendent David Johnson. “If we left the rate at our current rate we would have to have a public hearing. I feel comfortable leaving the rate as it is — not raising it. No one’s taxes will go up.”
The compensating tax rate means that the rate, which is rounded to the next higher one-tenth of one cent per $100 of assessed value and applied to the current year’s assessment of the property is subject to taxation by a taxing district. It excludes new property and personal property. It produces an amount of revenue approximately equal to that produced in the proceeding year from real property.
Meadors said if tax bills do go up it will be because of assessments not because of the tax rate. He then said after setting their tax rate last year, it was six to eight weeks before tax bills were mailed out.
“There were people who had meetings after we did to set their tax rates, and they got their bills out two to four weeks before us,” said Meadors.
“We’re not allowed to issue tax bills until the state board has approved our tax rate and they only meet once every other month,” said Johnson.
Taking time to recognize retiring staff, high school counselor Jeff Lunsford was recognized and presented with a plaque in honor of his 31 years of service to the Harlan Independent School System.
“Of those 31 years he has served, 21 of them were as a high school counselor,” said Johnson. “He did a fantastic job developing relationships with our children and did a great service to our community and school.”
Lunsford said he enjoyed his years at Harlan High School and will miss the students and staff.
In other board action, items approved included:
* Ticket prices for high school events were set at $5 for adults and $1 for all students regardless of what school they attend; It was noted all student tickets will only be sold at the gate;
*Contracts for psychometric services, Tyler Technology, IDEA intervention services, ACH agreement with the Bank of Harlan and a band visual coordinator;
*An additional 60 hours for an hourly grounds technician for a total cost of approximately $435;
*An online calculus class at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College for several high school students who qualify;
*A facility request from the Alumni Association to use property at the football field on Labor Day weekend.
The board went into executive session per KRS 61.810 (1.c) and returned with no action taken.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org