City, city school, set tax rates

Photo by Bobbie Poynter PVA Bill Oxendine addresses the Barbourville City Council about the proposed city tax rates.
Photo by Bobbie Poynter
PVA Bill Oxendine addresses the Barbourville City Council about the proposed city tax rates.

“If we don’t compensate for our assessment losses, we’ll be trying to perform at the same level as last year with less money.”

PVA Bill Oxendine explained to the Barbourville City Council the Department of Local Government allows the city to claim taxes of 29 cents per $100 for real assessments and 31 cents per $100 for tangible assessments. This is what the council could claim if it chose.

However, the Barbourville City Council once again chose not to raise taxes. Council members voted instead, as they have for the past 15 years, to accept only a compensating rate, which is allowed by the state. The compensating rate is two percent, setting the city tax rate at 28 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Barbourville City School chose to accept the state-recommended four percent tax increase, changing from last year’s rate of 51.2 to 53.8.

“The state legislature is not fully funding local schools and, therefore we are having to produce the same amount revenue at the local level,” School Superintendent Larry Warren explained.

Whenever the school accepts the four percent increase, it is required to hold a public hearing to hear comments regarding the proposed tax.

According to the school superintendent, only once in the past 25 years has anyone attended the public hearing.

“To me,” said Superintendent Warren, “this shows the community supports our children’s education, and feels no need to protest the board’s decision.