The city of Mayfield wants to annex two Graves County Schools and two other school buildings. That means employees in those buildings would be subject to a 2 percent payroll tax.
Right now, those employees pay a 1 percent payroll tax to the county. For example, numbers from the Kentucky Department of Education show the average annual salary for a teacher is $48,631. Right now, $486 of that goes to Graves County in payroll taxes. With the annexation that number would jump to $972, and the money would go to the city instead of the county.
Mayfield leaders say it's time to expand.
"We need more land for a lot of different things. For residential buildings, we need land for commercial," Mayfield Mayor Teresa Cantrell said.
She says to do that, the city is planning to annex the Graves County School buildings.
Graves County High School already sits inside the city limits, and employees there pay the 2 percent payroll tax.
The annexation would include the middle school, elementary school and the bus and maintenance garages. Cantrell says these are all buildings that use the city's septic tank.
"It's not fair for anyone, whether it's a school system or whatever, to not pay the city for having a city service," Cantrell said.
Graves County Superintendent Kim Dublin says these buildings have been considered part of the county since they were built.
"My effort is to preserve integrity of what we have in Graves County. That's the bottom line for me," Dublin said.
She's also not happy employee payroll taxes will go to the city and not the county.
"Which is money that goes toward initiatives to upgrade our county," Dublin said.
The the mayor has made up her mind, and the board of education says it intends to fight this.
"I feel like I have responsibility to Graves County Schools and the county," Dublin said.
The annexation would not include the central administration building. The mayor says that's because that building uses it's own septic tank.
A spokesperson for Graves County Schools says it would impact more than 200 employees. The mayor says this won't affect employees who aren't physically present in those buildings for most of their days. Employees like bus drivers wouldn't be affected.
The mayor says the city has to write an intent to annex ordinance, and the city council will vote on that. The mayor hopes to have that ready by the city's October meeting.
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