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School tax rate to be focus of meeting

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By Molly Haines

Taxpayers will have the opportunity to speak their minds on a proposed 2014 fiscal year tax increase for the Owen County School District Thursday.
A public hearing on the proposed increase will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium at Owen County High School.
Owen County School Superintendent Rob Stafford said due to less federal money coming in and the impact the loss will have on the district, he’s recommending the board opt for a 4-percent increase.
If taken, the 4-percent increase would mean taxpayers would pay 60.6 cents per $100 of assessed value on real property, as well as personal property.
The rate is expected to produce $3,575,196.96, an increase of $214,879.74 over the 2013 fiscal year. The additional revenue is designed to offset the decrease in federal aid to the district.
The board can also consider a compensating rate of 58.3 cents per $100 of assessed value on real and personal property, which would produce $3,439,504.67.
The board also has the option to levy a rate between the compensating rate and 4 percent.
Stafford said according to state law Owen County Board of Education Chairman Stuart Bowling must recognize anyone who wishes to speak during the hearing.
The chairman may also establish a time limit for speakers, Stafford said.
According to data from the Kentucky Department of Education, only two of Owen County’s surrounding counties - Franklin and Scott - voted to take the 4-percent increase for the 2012-13 school year.
Carroll, Gallatin and Grant counties each took the compensating rate.
Owen County has taken a 4-percent increase in all but three years since the 2001-2002 school year.
In 2005-2006, the board opted to take the compensating rate, as well as in 2011-12.
In 2010-11, the board levied a rate between compensating and 4 percent.