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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For the first time in three years, the Oldham County Board of Education has approved a tax increase.
The board heard from district officials and residents at a public hearing Thursday night.
The decision passed four to one but not before the board heard varying opinions from the public.
"I have been here ten years. You come to us every time you run out of money," said Oldham County resident Brian Oerther.
"I don't want my taxes to go up but if things are that tight, for our community, for our children, do what you need to do," said another resident.
"It's time you leave us alone. I'm tired of it. Guess what? You will probably lose an Oldham County resident because of this," Oerther added.
"This means our dollars will be helping our students and that means a lot to me," said Oldham County resident Michelle McCoy.
The tax rate increase is for this 2013-14 school year.
The district has kept the same rate for three years at 68.9 cents.
The 4% increase means it'll go up to 73.3 cents.
"It comes a point in time where we have to generate our own revenue since we can't rely on the state to fulfill their obligation," said Dr. Will Wells, Superintendent of Oldham Co. Schools.
Wells says it came down to two options-- either raise taxes or cut programs.
"We cut three million out of the budget last year and we protected our classrooms as much as possible by cutting from our operational areas, transportation and our central office. The only thing left to cut is our instructional program," he said.
Several residents told the board they moved to Oldham County because of the school district's reputation.
Dr. Wells says the increase will help them maintain quality education.
"Our students deserve educational excellence and we're being funded by the state and federal government for educational mediocrity," Dr. Wells told WDRB.