School board keeps existing tax rate

The Clark County Board of Education voted 3-2 Thursday night to maintain its current tax rate of 62.2 cents per every $100 of assessed value on real and personal property for fiscal year 2018.

The board hosted a hearing on rates, considering an increase to 64 cents, which was projected to increase the district’s revenues by 4 percent. While some members of the public attended the meeting, nobody spoke at the hearing concerning the rates.

The 62.2 cent rate does constitute an increase for the district of about 1 percent, as the compensating rate — designed to bring in the same amount of revenue the district had the prior year — was set at 61.6 cents. For the next fiscal year, 62.2 cents is projected to bring in about $49,000 more in revenues, about a 1 percent increase in the overall budget.

The rate was proposed by board member Scott Hisle, who said it was a compromise that allowed the district to keep the rate the same as it was the previous year while still bringing in additional revenue for the district.

Board member Gordon Parido said he favored taking the full 4 percent increase, arguing the best way to improve the district is to recruit and retain the best teachers through competitive salaries who can effectively expand the programs the district offers.

“People look for places that have programs for their kids,” Parido said. “They’re willing to pay more to get more.”

However, he could not get support from other members for the full increase.

Board Chair Dr. Michael Kuduk proposed a midpoint increase of 62.8 cents, which was supported by Board member Judy Hicks.

“When the school board in Hardin County was debating its tax rates a board member there said they need to live within the means of their constitutents,” Hicks said, “Where are we with living within the means of our constituents?”

The motion was defeated by Hisle, Parido and Board member Ashley Ritchie though.

Finally, Hisle’s proposal was approved with support from Kuduk and Hicks, with Parido and Ritchie opposed.

The rate for motor vehicles was set at 53.5 cents.