Paducah schools to take hit from AmerisourceBergen closure

With AmerisourceBergen closing its downtown Paducah location, city leaders say the tax base it’s taking with it is a big hit.

The pharmaceutical company announced it were closing its Paducah distribution location by spring 2017. That impacts about 90 employees.

Paducah Public Schools, specifically, could lose $243,595 a year. That money comes from property taxes and inventory taxes. A city spokesperson says AmerisourceBergen paid $14,937 in property taxes and $228,657 in inventory taxes to the school system last year. School leaders say that is a big loss, but nothing it can’t recover from.

It was a good turnout at the Paducah Public Schools Foundation Golf Scramble Friday, but Superintendent Donald Shively says events like it may be even more important in the future.

“We’re always looking to be more efficient, and we’ll do the same with this financial loss," Shively says.

Shively says, despite losing a lot in tax money, the school system’s mission has stayed the same. But he says it won’t sink the school system’s $25 million budget. “We’ll continue to deliver the same high quality educational opportunities with the same opportunities, extracurricular and co-curricular," he says.

While the company does pay county taxes, it pays even more taxes to the city.

Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler says the city can’t reverse AmerisourceBergen’s decision, but she wants to explore options to make sure the city can recover from losing that industry. “There may not be an answer for us as far as mitigating the loss of those jobs," Kaler says. "But it never hurts to talk to those folks.”

Shively says the issue is bigger than the school system, because the students are his focus. “Our vision is to make sure those kids are successful," he says.

AmerisourceBergen also pays a city business license tax and a payroll tax but, for privacy reasons, we don’t know those numbers.

The school system will not immediately lose $234,595 all at once. As long as the company is occupying that property, it will pay that $14,000. But the $228,000 will be more immediate.

We reached out to the company Friday. It says it has no more information from Thursday’s announcement —saying its priority is to inform its employees of any developments first.

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