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Adair Co. Bd. of Education adopts 4% tax rate increase

Report from Special Called School Board Meeting, Thursday, September 7, 2017 John Pilkington makes case for opposition to tax. Dr. Pam Stephens, superintendent, gives formal case for necessity of tax increase.
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By Ed Waggener

The Adair County School Board, after a lengthy hearing tonight, Thursday, September 7, 2017, adopted a 4% tax rate increase.

The vote, on motion by Chair Lisa Burton (Div 3), with a second by Vice Chair Terry Harvey (1), was 3-2. Member Mike Harris (5), joined Burton and Harvey, to approve the tax rate, with Daniel Adams (2), and Jonathan Gaskins (4), voting no.

The change is designed to give an additional $134,055. in additional revenue. Had the board adopted a compensating rate, the expected revenue would have been $3,472.590; with the 4% increase, revenues from property tax will be approximately $3,606,595.

Dr. Pam Stephens, Superintendent, said that that the tax rate would mean an increase of approximately $10 on a home assessed at $50,000, $20 on a home assessed at $100,000, as examples.

Dr. Stephens presented an illustration of budget expenditures for the benefit of Adair County students and their families including the following:
  • Nurses in every building at a cost of around $62,000.

  • SRO (School Resource Officer) at a cost to the school - rest is paid by the City of Columbia - at a cost of $24,000.

  • Board paid extra curricular activities at an estimated cost of $40,000.

  • College & Career Readiness Grant at a cost of $4,000.

  • Student supplies at a cost of between $52,000 this year and $104,000 last year

  • EMT Career path at a cost of $3,600. just for the instructor

  • Allied Health Grant beginning in January, estimated cost around $75,000.

  • Need for Baseball and Softball Bathrooms and Locker Rooms

  • Rotation of two new buses each year at an estimated cost of $96,000 per bus

  • Textbooks District receives $64,000 and spends $114,000 ($50,000 comes from General Fund

  • Free meals - Food services has had the CEP program for 4 years and every student eats free

  • Settlement payment to KSBIT. Paid 25% down in 2014, and paying $16,999 for the next 6 years

  • Added the ROTC program at a cost of $46,576 this year

  • Added swimming, wrestling, and ACMS Volleyball at a cost of $6,300

  • Added strength and conditioning coach in 2015-17 at a cost of $6,000

  • General Fund Picked up Robin Loy's Salary after Race to the Top grant ended, June 30, 201? (CM question mark; didn't capture final digit).
Board member Mike Harris said, that for citizens of means who have a $100,000 home, the increase in taxes is equivalent to having a couple of pizzas. "Surely they won't miss the cost of a couple of pizzas for the school system we have today."

This story was posted on 2017-09-07 20:05:26
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Adair Board of Education Tax Hearing: John Pilkington speaks

2017-09-08 - Adair County Board of Education Conference Room, 1204 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener,
The Adair County Board of Education gave rapt attention to the first speaker of the night, John Pilkington, at lectern, who delivered his concise remarks from a prepared text, citing reasons why he opposed the proposed tax increase which was adopted later in the session. Members of the Board, from left, are Vice Chair Terry Harvey (Div 1), Jonathan Gaskins (4), Board Chair Lisa Burton (3), Daniel Adams (2). and out of frame, Mike Harris (5). The measure passed 3-2, on the recommendation of Dr. Pam Stephens, who presented the case for the tax increase, which is projected to bring an additional $134,000 next year. For a family living in an home assessed at $50,000, the owner will pay approximately $10 more this year, or as Mr. Harris put it, "About the cost of one pizza," and adding, "surely eliminating one pizza this year isn't too big a price to pay for our kids." (Note: We hope to obtain and post the full text of Mr. Pilkington's statement) - EW

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Dr. Stephens makes the case for necessity for tax increase

2017-09-08 - Adair County Board of Education Conference Room, 1204 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener,
Superintendent Pam Stephens, speaking with the aid of a detailed power point presentation, points out the large number of expenses the board faces over which they have no-or little control. The charts were prepared by Finance Officer Renae Smith. Perhaps the most persuasive of the charts included the list of budget expenditures which the board has adopted which go back into families pockets, such as free school supplies, free admission to sporting events, free lunches, and the boards adoption of no fees for extracurricular competition (except for the Adair County High School Marching Band, which pays its own way). Dr. Stephens noted that the presentation was not intended so much to sway the board as to let them, and citizens, know the full story. Indeed, the final 3-2 vote was as predicted by most going into the meeting.

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