JCPS Superintendent Hargens recommends no property tax increase

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by Michaela MacDonald, WHAS11.com

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 12:28 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens is recommending the Board of Education keep tax rates the same for the next year.  The current rate is 71 cents per $100 assessed value of property.

WHAS11 caught up with board members Linda Duncan and Chris Brady to get their thoughts on this recommendation.

“At this point it sounds like a very positive recommendation.  We want to make sure we have everything that we need, the schools they have all they need to be able to arrive at this conclusion,” said Duncan.

“ I think it's a good decision the superintendent is really trying to find efficiencies in the system and trying to maximize that,” said Brady.

Both Duncan and Brady said while JCPS can afford not to raise taxes this year, next year that will likely change due to mandated teacher salary increases coming from the state.

“Right now we can handle the 1% percent this year. The 2% next year in addition to the contribution that we have to make to retired teacher health insurance is going to be quite a bundle,” said Duncan.

“That amounts to around over $ 20 million of extra expenses that the district is going to have to incur and right now as I've seen on the state budget side there's no compensating funds for that,” said Brady.

Jefferson County resident Eric Churchill chooses to send his children to private school, but he says he's happy JCPS is taking a close look at its finances.

“ I am okay with paying property taxes to support JCPS, but as a tax payer what I would really like them to do is take a very hard look at their true costs and are they really allocating expenses in the right way,” said Churchill.

The board will meet Monday, Aug. 25 for a discussion and vote. If you’d like to make a public comment, visit: http://www.jefferson.kyschools.us/board/Index.html#speak

JCPS says highlights of the proposed budget will pump millions of additional dollars to the classroom.

JCPS plans to increase before and after school instruction for struggling students and even has plans to add school-based mental health and behavioral support for students.

Also included in the budget are much needed technology upgrades for classrooms.


 

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