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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

LOUISA, KY. -- A raise is property taxes for all taxing districts in Lawrence county is anticipated after a steep drop in assessments of oil and gas and coal severance monies, County Clerk Chris Jobe said today.

"They have a formula and assessments for local property and the mineral taxes are different," Jobe said. "So it is difficult to tell how much the raise will be in dollars and cents."

Lawrence Co. PVA Chris Rose said the drop in assessments will force local taxing districts to accept the compensating tax rate which allows taxes to raise in order to take in the same amount in real dollars as last year.

"Our tax roll was certified on August 15, 2017," Rose said in a message to answer questions by the Lazer staff today. "We show an increase in Residential Class of $2.4 million, an increase in Farm Class of $2.1 million, an increase in Commercial Class of $3.2 million, BUT a decrease in Oil and Gas of $36.7 million and a decrease in Unmined Coal of $9.6 million." 

The Residential, Farm, and Commercial Classes are handled through the PVA offices. The Minerals (Oil, Gas, and Coal) are handled through Frankfort, Rose said.

"They (fiscal court) haven’t set tax rates yet," Rose said.  "It would be safe to say that the compensating rates will go up for all districts.  Some may choose the compensating rate, which will give them the same income as last year while some taxing districts will probably raise theirs."  

John Osborne, Chris Rose, and Chris Jobe John Osborne, Chris Rose, and Chris Jobe

County judge/executive John Osborne said he doesn't know what will happen.

"We don’t have enough information on this to be able to quote anything," Osborne said this morning. There also has been no answer as to how the county will handle an estimated $450,000 deficit in the jail budget announced earlier this budget year.

City taxes will also need to be adjusted for the decrease in mineral assessments although the cup has almost run dry on coal severance taxes already.

"The Fiscal Court has kept their rate the same for several years.  It will be interesting to see what they do this year," Rose added.

The drop will leave Lawrence County assessments $38.6 million less than a year ago, Rose said. The fiscal court will be setting the tax rate at this month's meeting on September 18 and the school tax rate will be set this month as well. Jobe said the compensating rate is currently 15.10, but next year's rate will be 16.80. He did not have enough information about the rates to know how much in real dollars taxpayers will be asked to fork out.

State to raise taxes, too

Ky. Governor Matt Bevin has also said the state will need to raise its taxes to get the state pension system back to solvency. Counties will also be asked to pay 50-60% more on their pension plans on the local level but counties will have until July 1, 2018 to make adjustments which could lead to layoffs of county employees. (See Courier Journal story below).

Kentucky pension crisis: Local governments face 50 to 60% increase in pension costs

By Tom Loftus
The Courier-Journal

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Pension costs could jump 50 to 60 percent next year for local governments across the state, according to a letter sent to them Thursday by state Budget Director John Chilton.

To pay its share, Louisville Metro Government's cost of its employees' pensions would jump from $76.5 million this year to $120 million next year. For Jefferson County Public Schools, the pension tab for non-teachers would go from $36.4 million this year to $54.8 million. 

Information about each county was not available today.


Chilton's letter notified hundreds of local government employers across the commonwealth of the specific dollar amount of increased pension costs each can expect when their new fiscal year begins next July 1.


Chilton's letter noted that local governments are confronting the same dilemma faced by state government in addressing the pension crisis. "The obvious problem is most employers cannot afford the additional pension contributions, ..." Chilton wrote. "The pension plans are in a crisis but so are employer budgets."

The increased cost to all local governments combined would be about $345.5 million next year, the letter says.

The letter went to local government employers who have employees in the County Employees Retirement Systems, or CERS, pension plans. JCPS is affected because, while its teachers are in the separate Teachers' Retirement System, its many non-teaching employees like cooks and bus drivers are in the CERS plans.




-1 #8 TaxTired 2017-09-14 19:08
What is the city/county plan for creating real revenues. What type of business are they going to create or bring in that will actually create a revenue stream? Does anyone have any ideas or plans that DON'T involve raising taxes on an already poor community? This is a big hole we're falling in, for sure, hell lets build another $20 million courthouse,lol.
+2 #7 John H 2017-09-13 23:56
I have saw no cuts anywhere in Lawrence County on Increases.
+3 #6 Gene 2017-09-13 15:00
Ok- The government and EPA made sure our miners are out of work.
And now Frankfort is robbing us of gas and oil money so close them down from stealing our minerals (like you did the miners) and send them packing ! Oh wait you can't do that because our elected officers are involved in the gas / oil business.! So what do you do now? Of course you put a big increase on the people that are already burdened with Library tax,school tax,utility taxes, and whatever else on our property taxes,City and County! This has got to STOP now!
+4 #5 Sick and tired 2017-09-13 11:14
I know, why not ask Boyd co to give our money back that we gave them a few years ago to help them build a community center. Lawrence co gave our coal severance money away knowing good and well Boyd co would never repay that. What a joke we have in our local judge and magistrates that allow this to happen.
+4 #4 Wondering 2017-09-12 22:39
I would like to see what the people in the courthouse pays on their property taxes.
+8 #3 TaxTired 2017-09-12 00:10
This county/state is going to have to find other sources of revenue, it's that simple. Louisa waited decades to go wet, let's see what our local politicians do. The roads in LC are pitiful, our elementary schools are falling apart, so the solution is to continue raising taxes on folks who are already having a tough time making it. It's not like no one saw this coming from miles away, yet the state spent over $20 million building a new courthouse, lol what a damn joke, when you have a bunch of fiscal jokers running things, this is what citizens get for doing their part. Bevin don't want casinos in Kentucky, but yet I can buy all the $25 lottery tickets I want. Colorado has taken in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues from marijuana, and absolutely zero deaths from its use and sale, unlike alcohol, tobacco and pills. Our politicians don't have any plans, their plan is to tax the people until they're broke, just TAX the problems away without creating jobs and revenue.
+6 #2 Not Right 2017-09-11 22:08
Lawrence county has too many Gas and Oil Wells for us to be punished for their short fall But they are always yelling, 'We have No Money' but they find enough for their Pay Checks
+3 #1 O 2017-09-11 21:23
Pretty poor planning obviously. We can't handle these type of raises. Close the library and extension office. That'll save a bit. Make employees pay more for their retirement. Stop the raises

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