The Graves County Board of Education voted to raise taxes on real property in August from 37.5 cents per $100 of real property valuation to 44.4 cents, citing needed infracstructure repair, renovation, and/or replacement, especially the 60-year-old building of Lowes Elementary School and the heating/ventilation/air conditioning system of Graves County High School. The HVAC is nearly 30 years old, past its warranty, and could stop working completely at any time.
“I don’t like taxes, but I love our kids of Graves County more than that, and this is a very wise investment for the future of Graves County," said Superintendent Kim Harrison.
The Graves County School District asks residents to invest in the county’s students and schools.
Graves County High School is nearly 30 years old and in need of repairs and maintenance, including major replacements on the Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning System.
Lowes Elementary School’s building is 60 years old and in need of major renovation or replacement.
The Graves County School District’s property tax rate is the very lowest in the Jackson Purchase and the ninth lowest in Kentucky.
The proposed, new tax rate still will be the second lowest in the Jackson Purchase and among the lowest 20 percent in Kentucky.
Sedalia and Farmington are National Blue Ribbon Schools
Graves County High School has been honored annually by U.S. News & World Report and is a 3-time National Pacesetter School.
Standard & Poor’s recognized the School District as an academic outperformer, far surpassing expectations.
Graves County schools and students rank among the highest-achieving in Kentucky academics. At the same time, state and federal budget cuts of $4.5 million over the past five years mean the Graves County District has had far less funding. The additional cost for the average taxpayer would only be $3.22 per month, according to Graves County property valuation administrator Howel Carr. That’s only about a dime a day.
The Graves County School District has provided a tremendous bang for the buck, according to the conservative watchdog Bluegrass Institute.
Added cost for average Graves County taxpayer would be about a dime per day
Top 7.5 percent among 173 Ky. Districts for 8 years
· The Graves County School District ranked in the top 7.5 percent among Kentucky’s 173 districts for 8 years.
· The Graves County School District and four of its schools (Central, Symsonia, Sedalia and Graves High) rank as “Proficient,” in the top 30 percent of Ky. schools, under the new Unbridled Learning accountability data. Lowes Elementary earned the “Distinguished,” ranking among the top ten percent of Ky. elementary schools.
State and federal cuts over last 5 years cost the district $4.5 million
State and federal budget cuts alone over the past 5 years have decreased Graves County’s funding by $4.5 million. Graves County children’s education has suffered cutbacks in:
· Safe Schools funding to provide a safe environment for learning
PVA says proposed increase for average taxpayer would be $3.22 per month, less than $39 per year, about a dime a day
Money generated will be designated for practical and much-needed facility improvements:
· Graves County High School’s Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning System renovation before it stops working without notice.
· Lowes Elementary School’s major renovation or replacement of building, especially sections dating back to the 1950s.
State’s proposed matching nickel would double county residents’ investment
· The Graves County School District will apply to state government to receive matching funds for 5 cents of the rate Graves County residents would pay, generating thousands of dollars. Bonding potential would be increased from approximately $9 million to $27 million. The Lowes and GCHS projects each are estimated to cost more than $9 million apiece.
· The Kentucky General Assembly historically has matched a nickel of the funds one-for-one.
Graves County’s rate will continue to be among the very lowest in Kentucky
· Graves County’s tax rate has been the very lowest in the Jackson Purchase and 9th lowest among Kentucky’s 173 districts.
· Graves County’s tax rate will continue to be among the two lowest in the Jackson Purchase and among the lowest 20 percent of districts in Kentucky.