Board passes tax hike in tight vote
Jack Latta firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESTONSBURG - A proposed tax increase to help pay for building improvements in county schools passed board approval last week during a special called meeting.
The Floyd County Board of Education met last Thursday to consider a new tax rate for the 2013-14 school year which includes revenue toward the counties building fund.
The board voted 3-2 to pass the measure. Board Chairman Jeff Stumbo and member Linda Gearheart were the two dissenting votes.
The board voted to approve a compensating tax rate for real property and personal property of 52.2 cents for every $100 of assessed value. The compensating tax rate is set by providing the school system with the same amount of money as was generated last year.
Additionally, the board was asking county tax payers to pay an additional 5.7 cents for every $100, which would be assessed to further the county’s facilities improvement plan. The additional fee would raise school taxes nearly 11 percent.
Floyd County Supt. Henry Webb said last week that the extra funding is expected to help cover the costs for most of the building projects associated with Floyd County District Facilities plan, including a new high school which will consolidate the students of South Floyd and Allen Central, a new Alternative School, a major renovation to Allen Central High which will become the county’s new Area Technology Center, as well as major renovations to Betsy Layne High and Elementary, and Duff Elementary.
McDowell Elementary School was flooded as recently as two weeks ago after torrential rains caused flash flooding around the county. The school was forced to close its doors for two days while staff and volunteers worked to clean the building.
As part of the facilities plan, students at McDowell Elementary and Osbourne Elementary would be redistricted to the South Floyd High School building following the consolidation of the high schools. McDowell and Osborne are currently listed as transitional schools and cannot receive money from the building fund for improvements to their current sites.
Some items in the facilities plan have already been constructed. including the renovations to the Prestonsburg Gymnasium, and the turf fields at Prestonsburg and Betsy Layne High Schools.
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