Boyle lowers school tax rate

Published 8:06 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

The Boyle County Board of Education voted to lower the school tax rate during its regular meeting Thursday night, which will still allow the school district to increase its revenue next year.

The new rate is 71.7 cents per $100 in property, down from 71.8 last year.

“The school district is doing well,” said Boyle Superintendent Mike LaFavers following the vote. “We can lower the community’s taxes and still generate more money because of the new construction” in the county.

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“It’s a win-win. The community wins in that their taxes are lower. And the school district wins because of our growth. We can get more revenue out of growth,” LaFavers said. The lower rate will still allow the district to take in an additional $233,041 in expected revenue over last year.

“That’s a pretty powerful thing,” Lafavers said.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that the school board has not raised taxes.

Even though there have been no increases over the past five years, the district still has advanced academically and athletically, he said.

The district is in the process of building a new, state-of-the-art middle school, and will then renovate the current middle school to become the new Woodlawn Elementary School. It will also build a road connecting the entire main campus, according to the school’s news release.

“Here are the things that amaze me,” Lafaver said.

He said that over the past five years, the district has been in the top 10 in the state academically, and in four out of the five years, has been the top county school system in Kentucky; all students from second through 12th grade have been issued their own Chromebook; Boyle schools have won 30 regional championships and offer all KHSAA sports, with the exception of lacrosse; more staff has been added and equipment was purchased; and “we’ve given pay raises to staff every single year.”

“It’s awesome to think about really, that all those things happened simultaneously,” LaFavers said.

“The fact that we can achieve so many goals while not raising taxes in five years really speaks to the commitment to excellence and fiscal responsibility of our staff,” said Jennifer Newby, board chair, in a news release. “They have done a great job making sure they are using funds in the most efficient and effective ways possible.”

After the last increase — a nickel tax in 2015 —  the board said it felt confident they would not need to raise taxes for at least two years.

“We showed them if you go with us on the nickel, your taxes will go down in time,” Lafavors said. “Within two years, their taxes were lower than if they had not given us a nickel. Now it’s been five years, and their taxes are significantly lower.”

If the nickel tax hadn’t been accepted, the school district would have had to raise taxes 4% several years in a row, Lafavors said.

“It let us be much more efficient with our money,” he added. “In five years of time, the community here is paying less taxes now than by far they would have been had we not passed that nickel back in 2015. It’s not even close.”