JCPS Board Approves Tax Increase, But Doesn’t Create Additional Revenue

by Devin Katayama on August 22, 2011

The Jefferson County School Board unanimously approved a tax increase of one-tenth of a cent at Monday’s board meeting.

The increase is based on assessed property value. If a house is assessed at $100,000 dollars, it will mean a $1 increase in taxes this next year.

This will be the fourth straight year the school board has raised property tax to maintain an acceptable level of service. This year’s increase is the smallest over the previous years’ raises. Last year’s tax increase of three cents was the district’s largest over the past four years and it brought around $28 million dollars to the district.

Each year, the school board has the option to apply a four percent tax revenue increase. Superintendent Donna Hargens says the board chose not to seek the maximum increase after an audit of the district’s finances showed it can maintain its current level of service with the minimum increase.

Hargens also says the increase will not bring JCPS any additional revenue. Further, she says the district will lose $16 million dollars by not implementing the maximum tax.

That still did not please everyone. Three people spoke out against the tax increase, including a member of the local Tea Party.

But board members were not swayed and they explained why the tax increase was necessary. Board member Debbie Wesslund says it’s the boards job to make sure the money is spent right.

School Year/Tax Increase (per $100,000 of assessed property value)

2011-2012: 67.7  ($677 per year)

2010-2011: 67.6

2009-2010: 64.6

2008-2009: 62.5

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