The McCracken County School Board voted Thursday to maintain last year's tax rates on real property, tangible property and motor vehicles.

The board voted to keep the school district's real property and tangible property tax rates, each at 53.8 cents per $100 of property value, and the motor vehicle tax rate at 52.9 cents per $100 value.

McCracken County Schools Superintendent Steve Carter said the number of properties in the county which have recently come to light by the property valuation administrator's office as not properly assessed or never taxed at all raised concerns with the school board about raising its tax rate.

"There's so many unknowns going on right now with PVA re-evaluations that I just felt like, at this point for us, we are generating enough revenue right now to maintain the prior year's rate at 53.8," he said. "Moving forward and as we continue to grow, we may have to look at something different, but for this next year, we want to be good fiscal stewards.

"We want to give time for everything to play out (with county property values) and to make sure that we make good citizens of our community at large."

Board Chair Chris Taylor said indications from the McCracken County Fiscal Court that it may raise its property tax rate also led the board to keep its rate the same.

"I think we all were just mindful of what a tax increase could do," he said. "Also, with the information that we received from the PVA office and their reassessment of properties, it's going to be an ongoing thing for possibly the next two, three, four years."

Taylor added he didn't think that county taxpayers would be able to handle a tax rate increase from the school district.

"We're just going to have to be good stewards of the pot of money that we have," he said. "We approved a cooling tower (an estimated cost of $218,160) for Concord Elementary at tonight's meeting. Those are projects that are ongoing that are going to need to be addressed.

"There may be projects that are pushed back a little bit, but we're going to do what we can do, a project at a time."

In 2015, the board approved a property tax rate increase from 49.5 cents to 52.4 cents per $100 of property value. In 2016, it dropped to 51.6 cents, then increased to 52 cents in 2017.

A real property tax rate of 53.8 cents per $100 in property value means that a property owner will pay 53.8 cents for every $100 that a property is valued at by the PVA office. For instance, if a house in McCracken County is valued at $80,000, that property owner would pay $430.40 for the school tax rate, which is added to county property tax rates set by county fire departments, the health department and the county itself through the fiscal court, along with other entities.

The board also approved the second reading of a district policy revision, keeping it in line with requirements brought forth earlier this year by the state legislature through Senate Bill 1, which included security needs and banning tobacco or vaping products on campuses, among other items.

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