In a special meeting Friday morning the McCreary County Fiscal Court officially accepted tax rates from all special districts in the county, as well as establishing the rates for the County as a whole.
With overall assessments up, the County should be able to make more revenue without having to raise taxes, and could, in fact, lower the tax rate and make about the same amount as last year, which was about $359,000.
But confusion over a worksheet provided by the Kentucky Department of Local Government caused the Fiscal Court to first adopt what they thought was the compensating rate, but actually amounted to a rate increase.
The overall property values in McCreary County rose by over $10 million this year, going up to $446,497,368, and that figure should have meant overall rate decreases, as seen by the McCreary County Public Library and Board of Education.
During Friday’s Fiscal Court meeting the Court voted 3-0 (Magistrates Jason Mann and O.L. Perry were unable to attend the meeting.) to pass the compensating rate.
But the confusing DLG worksheet presented the compensating rate as 10.7 cents per $100 of value, which represented a 1.2-cent increase overall.
McCreary County PVA Bruce Lominac, concerned over the increase when the tax rate should have decreased, contacted the Department of Revenue and learned that the true compensating rate should have been 9.4 cents, an actual 0.1 cent decrease over the previous year.
Tuesday the Department of Revenue confirmed that since the Fiscal Court voted to accept the compensating rate, the rate of 9.4 cents per $100 would be accepted as the tax rate for the current fiscal year, saving taxpayers money overall.
According to the worksheet from the Kentucky Department of Local Government the compensating rate was listed at 10.7 cents, which can actually be considered a substitute rate.
McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens confirmed the corrected tax rate Tuesday, noting the confusing document had also caused similar issues in other Kentucky counties this year.
The Personal property tax rate will remain the same at 20.4 cents per $100 of value, which would produce an estimated $125,667 in additional revenue.
Tax rates for all five fire protection districts (10 cents per $100), the County Health District (4 cents per $100), and Soil Conservation District (1.7 cents per $100) will all remain the same.
The rate for the McCreary County Public Library actually dropped from 7.7 cents to 7.6 cents as the Library Board opted to take the compensating rate, thus lowering the tax burden on the citizens.
The McCreary County School Board also accepted a lower property tax rate (see School Board story in this week’s issue), lowering their rate of 41.9 cents per $100 to 41.6 cents, but increased the motor vehicle tax rate from 30 cents to 46.6 cents per $100 of value.