Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Donna Hargens announced on Friday that she will recommend no increase to the tax rate for the 2015-16 fiscal year. This will be the second consecutive year that Dr. Hargens has recommended no increase to the tax rate.
Hargens’ recommendation is that the rate remains 71 cents on real property and 71 cents on personal property—the same rate for 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years. This would be the same tax rate for three years.
“Revenue raised using the existing rate will allow the district to balance the budget and continue to provide our students with a quality instructional program and resources,” Hargens said. “Taxpayers should know we are grateful for their investments in children.”
A public hearing to discuss Hargens’ tax rate recommendation will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, at VanHoose Education Center. The Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) passed the 2015-16 tentative budget in May. The JCBE will vote on the working budget—the last of the three-part process—in September. School boards in surrounding counties will all review tax rates in the coming weeks. Last year, the 71-cent rate was lower than Fayette, Nelson, Shelby, and Oldham Counties.
The budget sends more money back to schools where students will directly benefit with quality instruction, new opportunities, and additional resources. Next week, the district will open Alex R. Kennedy Elementary in Jeffersontown along with two K-8 Schools of Innovation at Maupin Elementary and Atkinson Academy. A new Early Childhood center in Smoketown will help more children receive early instruction to prepare them for success in kindergarten. This year, all JCPS employees also received at least a 2 percent raise, which was mandated by the state.
JCPS continues to invest more in schools while reducing central services costs.