ASHLAND, Ky. (WOWK) – If the value of your property increased, you could see additional money going to the Ashland Independent School District.
Each year the Kentucky Department of Education sends school districts options for setting property taxes. School districts can hold to last year’s rate, reduce the property tax levy, or raise it by a maximum of 4-percent.
Superintendent Sean Howard explains many people tend to view public schools as having a lot of money but says it’s simply not the case.
“It is very expensive to educate our kids and keep our programs and facilities operational,” Howard said. “We need the help of the taxpayer, obviously, to do that.”
The Ashland Independent School District runs on a $32 million budget. A 4% increase, Kentucky’s maximum, in property taxes would mean an additional $450,000 to the district’s budget, Howard said.
School district finance director Kristen Martin says if the value of the owner’s property stayed about the same, then their taxes will also be about the same. She said if an owner sees an increase in the value of their property their taxes would go up.
“We took almost a $44 million increase in property evaluation and we can lower the rate and still collect 4% more revenue than we did last year,” Martin said. “I think, even with the 4% increase, it’s been immaterial; it’s been $5, $10, $15, $20, and I hope that individuals feel that that’s worth it for the job we have to do.”
“I think we owe it to our kids, Howard said.” I think we owe it to our community to have the best-prepared kids that we can have.”
Superintendent Howard says the district is careful with its budget.
“We’d like to think that we’re very good stewards of our money,” Howard said. “We do not feel good about asking for these increases, or proposed increases if we’re squandering money.”
Superintendent Howard says it’s his job, the board’s job, and the finance director’s job to make sure the district’s money is well-utilized.
Finance Director Martin said they’ve never had any push-back from the community when they’ve done the increase in the past.
There is a public hearing on the 4% increase Friday, September 13, at 5 p.m., in the central board office gymnasium.