By Greg Bird
The final real estate, tangible property and motor vehicle tax assessments have been submitted to Frankfort, meaning County and local board tax rates can be set soon and tax bills could be printed and mailed by the middle of next month McCreary County Judge Executive Doug Stephens said Tuesday.
Judge Stephens said he had not yet received the official documentation from the Department of Revenue to determine the tax rate for the County, but he expected to receive it within the next day or so.
Due to the overall assessment being above last year’s total, Stephens said he expects to recommend the County adopt the compensating rate recommended by the Department of Revenue; meaning the County Tax Rate would stay very close to the current rate, if not a few cents lower.
Stephens said several taxing districts have already received the tax information and set their rates, with his understanding they have taken the compensating rate, indicating the tax rates will remain relatively the same.
Districts such as the Extension Board and Soil Conservation Board should have the information needed to set their rates and should do so before the next Fiscal Court meeting, scheduled for November 8. The Extension Board agreed earlier this year to lower their tax rate to about 3.75 cents per $100 of assessed value from the 3.95 cents it enacted last year. The deal was made as part of a compromise to prevent the dissolution of the Board by the Fiscal Court. The Extension Board will have a special meeting on November 7 to set their rate.
The McCreary County Board of Education is expected to hold a special called meeting tonight, November 1, to set their tax rates for the year.
A representative of the Board stated the recommendation to the Board will be to decrease real estate taxes by .2 cents, with all other rates remaining the same. The real estate rate will drop to 40.9 cents of assessed property, the tangible rate will remain at 46.7 cents, and the motor vehicle rate will stay at 46.7 cents. The rates are expected to be approved; marking the third consecutive year the real estate tax has been lowered.
The Fiscal Court has no authority to set tax rates for special taxing districts, but can only acknowledge the rates.
Once the rates are set and received by the Fiscal Court that data and the tax rolls will be sent to the County Clerk’s Office. Clerk Eric Haynes said once his office has that information the tax bills can be printed.
Haynes stated the state pays for half the printing bill and the County picks up the other half. The bills are actually printed in the PVA office, and paid for by the Clerk.
Judge Stephens said he hoped to have the information to Haynes by Friday, November 9, and expects the bills could be printed by the next week, meaning the bills would actually be mailed by mid-November.
Even with the bills coming out so close to the end of the year, citizens will still be eligible for the discount for early payment, as is mandated by state law.
PVA Bruce Lominac has said an earlier computer issue had caused a loss of some of the tangible property assessment data from the system, prompting the need for his office to resolve the issue and manually re-enter the data lost.
That caused a delay in the final assessment being sent to the Department of Revenue. Lominac previously told the Voice that the bills being sent in October was only a recent occurrence, as bills were not typically finalized before November under previous administrations.
“Historically, tax bills were not sent out until later in the year,” Lominac was quoted last month. “When I took office we worked hard to get the bills out earlier, and maintained that until this year when circumstances beyond our control forced the delay.”