The Mercer County Board of Education has agreed to a four-percent increase in the tax rate on real estate.
The increase was approved unanimously by the school board, with board member Larry Yeager abstaining. It is the first increase in three years.
Officials note the four-percent raise is not a four-percent increase on a homeowner’s tax bill. Rather, it’s the amount needed to generate a four-percent increase in the school’s local tax-based revenue. The tax rate for the last three years has been $6.49 per $1,000 in assessed value. The new rate will be $6.65 per $1,000 in assessed value, a 16-cent increase. An actual four-percent increase on the former tax rate would be around 25-cents.
Of that $6.65, $1.74 goes towards building and construction expenses while the rest goes to the general fund.
Amber Minor, the finance officer for Mercer County Schools, said the district would take in $263,490 more than last year.
Minor said the district is facing a potential seven-percent increase in the rate they pay to the County Employees Retirement System, which would translate to around $250,000, as well as hire an extra teacher at Mercer County Elementary School, overhaul the wireless network at Mercer County Intermediate. The district is also looking to pay $123,788 to purchase camera systems, buzzers and other security devices to make schools safer.
The next meeting of the Mercer County Board of Education is at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Harlow Education Center (530 Perryville St.).
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.