JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens won't recommend tax hike for 2 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens won't recommend tax hike for 2015-16

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Despite initially saying that Jefferson County Public Schools may need a 4 percent property tax revenue increase to balance its 2015-16 budget, Superintendent Donna Hargens announced Friday she will not be recommending a tax hike to the school board.

Hargens’ will recommend to the Jefferson County Board of Education on Aug. 20 that the tax rate remain 71 cents per $100 of assessed value, which means the owner of a $100,000 home would continue to pay about $710 in property taxes to JCPS. This would be the same rate as the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.

“Revenue raised using the existing rate will allow the district to balance the budget and continue to provide our students with a quality instructional program and resources,” Hargens said in a prepared statement. “Taxpayers should know we are grateful for their investments in children.”

A public hearing to discuss Hargens’ tax rate recommendation will be held Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. at the VanHoose Education Center, 3331 Newburg Road.

The recommendation comes three months after school officials initially stated the district may need to seek a 4 percent property tax revenue increase later this summer in order to balance its $1.4 billion budget.

Property owners in Jefferson County have seen their school tax rates steadily climb over the last decade. In 2004-05, the owner of a $100,000 home would have paid the school district $592 in property taxes -- $124 less than what the current rate yields. That equates to a 21 percent increase over the past 10 years.

Last year, Superintendent Donna Hargens ultimately decided not to ask the school board for a tax increase, despite the district advertising the potential for one.

Jefferson Property Valuation Administrator Tony Lindauer said thousands of taxpayers were notified of higher property assessments in April, some averaging an increase from 10 to 15 percent. About 60,000 reassessment notices were sent, he said. 

The increases are based on the recent sale of nearby comparable homes and that extra revenue means that JCPS will receive about $16 million more than last year. Of that amount, $12 million will be spent on instruction, $1.5 million will be spent on buildings and $1.2 million will be spent on transportation, according to a legal advertisement that will run in Saturday's newspaper.

The general fund tax rate of 71 cents on personal property is expected to generate $428 million in 2016. Of that amount, $49 million will come from personal property taxes and $2.2 million will come from real property taxes. 

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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