Fiscal Court passes second reading of new rental tax; extends solar farm moratorium
Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023
The Fiscal Court passed a new vehicle rental tax, and extended the solar farm moratorium at their meeting on Thursday, which was rescheduled earlier from Dec. 26.
The court passed the second reading of the new Motor Vehicle Licensing Fee Ordinance. It passed with four yes votes, and Magistrate Paula Bodner was the only no vote. Magistrate Jason Cullen was not at the meeting.
The county will collect a license fee of 3% of gross rental charges from rental agreements of 30 days or less by U-Drive-It, peer-to-peer sharing programs, transportation network companies, and other vehicle renting companies.
Email newsletter signup
The tax comes out of the recently-passed Kentucky House Bill 8, which lowers the state income tax year-over-year while allowing other taxes to be started by counties and the state.
The license fees must be paid monthly to the county. The money collected must go toward economic development.
The fee shall be collected by vehicle renting companies from the renters of the motor vehicle; U-Drive-It from the renters of the motor vehicle; Peer-to-peer sharing program from the shared vehicle driver; and transportation network companies from the purchaser of the transportation network company services.
To read about more specifics of the tax, click here. The fee will go into effect July 1, 2024.
The county has a moratorium on new solar farms in place while they figure out how to amend their solar ordinance. The moratorium was set to expire Dec. 31, 2023, and the court extended it to March 31, 2024.
County Attorney Chris Herron said he found a model solar ordinance, but they need to add a lot to it, make some changes, and figure out more specifics. Herron and some magistrates will further discuss the ordinance to come up with a draft.
In other business:
• The court approved rate increases for inmate medical co-pays at the Boyle County Detention Center. Jailer Brian Wofford said the increase is to help save taxpayer money that goes toward medical costs.
The county jail receives a per diem rate from the state government for medical costs of state inmates that are housed at the jail. State inmates are sometimes housed at county jails instead of transferred to state prisons. Wofford explained that the state only provides a set amount of money to cover state inmate medical costs, regardless of how much that cost actually ends up being.
Wofford said they can charge county inmates the full price of prescriptions; but for state inmates, they can only charge the set rate of co-pays for prescriptions, which is now up to $20. Wofford said they currently have a state inmate who needs medication that costs about $80,000 per year, and they can only charge the set rate for him.
“I don’t think it’s fair that the county should have to subsidize state inmates,” Wofford said, explaining that the Jailer’s Association has spoken to state officials about getting more compensation for state inmates.
Starting January 1, sick call co-pays will go up from $15 to $20 per visit, and over-the-counter medication co-pays will go up from $7 to $8.
• The court heard a presentation about possible designs for an Alum Springs Bike Park. The park idea has been proposed by Magistrate Paula Bodner as a way to repurpose the retired landfill site at Alum Springs. The convenience center would stay open. The bike park would sit above the long-closed landfill, and extend through the woods behind it.
Andrew Parsons with Parsons Construction Services showed photos of renderings for a possible trail map at the site. He showed models of what some parts of the park could look like, including a pump track.
The county will be making further decisions on a design for the park, how much they’re willing to spend, and will be talking with the state about permits and other things.
To hear and see more about what the bike park could look like, click here.
• Boyle County Sheriff Taylor Bottom presented their 2024 budget, totalling about $1.9 million in expenses for the year. The court approved the budget in addition to an order setting the salary and monthly advancement of employees.
• The court reappointed John Russell to the Senior Citizen’s Board.