Tax Rate Picture Getting Clearer

Monopoly Money by Bushko courtesy of morguefile.com

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

rmoore@harrodsburgherald.com

The tax picture is growing clearer for property owners in Mercer County, but there are still a few public hearings to go.

Upcoming Tax Hearings

The Burgin Board of Education is considering raising property taxes to 77.7 cents per $100 in assessed value. That would translated into an additional $2 per year for someone owning $100,000 in property, according to Burgin Finance Officer Catherine Sizemore. The school board will hold their public hearing today, Thursday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. at Burgin Independent School.

The Mercer County Fire Protection District has not set their tax rate yet. According to Chief Ric Maxfield, the compensating rate—which is calculated to generate the same income as the year before—is six cents per $100,000 in assessed value for real estate and personal property and 10 cents for motor vehicles and watercraft. Maxfield said the board will meet on Monday, Sept. 9.

The Harrodsburg City Commission voted last week to increase the tax rate to 81.2 cents per $100 in assessed value. For a home valued at $100,000, the tax bill under the new rate would be $81.20, according to figures provided by City Treasurer Shavonna Huffman.

Last year, the city’s rate for property tax was 66.8 cents per $100 in assessed value. However, Mayor Art Freeman said it became clear the city could not take the compensating rate for a second year in a row.

The city will hold a special tax hearing on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. at Harrodsburg City Hall (208 South Main Street).

Other Taxing Districts

The Mercer County Board of Education voted to raise the tax rate to 71.8 cents per $100 in assessed value for both real estate and personal property. That’s 2.6 cents more than last year’s rate. Motor vehicle rates would remain the same at 49.1 cents per $100, which is the maximum rate.

The new rate will increase the tax bill for a home worth $100,000 by $26, according to figures provided by Amber Miner, the chief financial officer for Mercer County Schools.

The school board chose the four-percent increase, which is the most allowed under state law without leading to a recall vote. The increase does not translate into a four-percent increase on a homeowner’s tax bill. Rather, it is a four-percent increase in the total revenue the district will realize from property taxes.

The Mercer County Fiscal Court voted to raise the real property tax rates from 12.2 cents per $100 in assessed value to 12.4. That is the compensating rate, which is calculated to produce the same revenue as the year before. Because the new rate does not exceed the compensating tax rate, under state law, the fiscal court does not need to hold a public hearing.

The Mercer County Health Department is keeping their tax rate at five cents per $100 in assessed value.

The Mercer County Cooperative Extension Office has elected not to increase their tax rate. It will remain at 4.1 cents per $100 in assessed value for real property. The extension office lowered the rate for personal property rate to 7.7 cents per $100.

The Mercer County Soil Conservation District is keeping their rate at 7 cents per $100 in assessed value, according to Administrative Secretary Linda Lake.

The Mercer County Public Library reduced their rate by one-tenth of a cent to 8.0 cents per $100 in assessed value on both real estate and personal property.

According to Mayor Jim Caldwell, the Burgin City Council elected to keep their tax rate at 20.45 cents per $100 in assessed value for real estate and 15.33 cents per $100 in assessed value for personal property.

Editor’s Note: In last week’s report about the Mercer County Board of Education’s tax hearing, I misattributed a quote to Rita Durr. Durr did not ask the school board about relocating Alvis Johnson Field. I regret the error.

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