Tax rates set for 2015-16

Photo by Emily Baker Knox County PVA Bill Oxendine hands out documentation for the 2015 tax rates to the Knox Fiscal Court at its regular meeting last Wednesday.
Photo by Emily Baker
Knox County PVA Bill Oxendine hands out documentation for the 2015 tax rates to the Knox Fiscal Court at its regular meeting last Wednesday.

“We’re climbing one way, but we keep falling another.”

Bill Oxendine, Knox County PVA, informed the Knox County Fiscal Court at its August meeting that the county has lost $7.5 million in assessments due to the loss of active mines in the county thanks to the clean burn law and higher use of natural gas.

The average tax bill, he said, will probably average about $1.40 more than last year.

“We’ll have about $50,000 less if the tax rate remains the same as last year,” he said. “We can make it, but we’ll really have to tighten our belts.”

But, then he did have some good news to share.

A total of 17,000 tax bills went out last year with an average parcel of land being worth around $51,000. This is the first time the total overall county assessment, Oxendine told the court, has come to over $1 billion.

“We’re at a 95 percent collection rate,” he said. “We’ve worked very hard at getting bills out in October. This gives everyone 60 days, rather than just 30 days, at the base rate.

Once the PVA finished with his report the Knox County Fiscal Court voted to set the 2015-16 tax rates. The court unanimously voted to keep the 2015 real taxes rates at 10.9, and the tangible tax rates at 24.42, which are the same rates as last year.

Of the eight county-wide taxing districts to establish their 2015 rates, Soil Conservation was the only district to change its rates with a small increase of $1 per $100,000. The special districting rates which are set by the special districts themselves) are as follows:

Public Health: 2.5 across the board

Artemus Fire Dept.: 1.0 real property

Extension Service: 3.5 real property, 7.89 personal property, 2.24 motor vehicle

Soil Conservation: 1.9 real property

Library: 4.3 real property, 11.78 personal property, 2.4 motor vehicle

Ambulance: 1.204 real property, 2.59 personal property, 9.75 motor vehicle

Hospital: 7.0 across the board

Knox School: 50.4 real property, 50.2 motor vehicle

During the meeting, the Fiscal Court also:

• approved the appointment of Carolyn Smith to the Utility Commission

approved Tommy Lockard to replace Eli Broughton on the Tax Appear Board

• changed the spelling of Wills Road to Willis Road (CR15485)

• approved the county attorney’s delinquent tax report of $75,048.15

accepted the only bid for the county communication system by London Radio Service of $12,800

• accepted the motor vehicle rate at 14 cents per $100, which is set by HB44 or HB19

• approved the animal control shelter contract of an increase from $25,000 to $40,000. The currently contract will run until July 1, 2016. The increase will begin in 2017.

approved MRCS funds to hire Samantha Mitchell and John Wiley Brown to assist with inspections. Wiley Brown (John Brown’s father) obstained from voting on his son.

approved promoting Deputy Jailer Brad Reeves from part-time to full time, replacing Doyle Smith

approved transfer of Doyle Smith to Solid Waste Department

• approved Terry Grubb, Kenneth Turner and Ricky Mills to the Road Department

approved the sale between Knox County, 911 and East Kentucky Power of Johnson Hollow at Gilliam Hill for $1.00.