In response to Dr. Joe Hutchinson’s Sept. 1 letter, I would like to clarify a few points about the recent tax levy hearing at Perry County School District 32.
This is an annual process for many local entities receiving tax dollars from the county, including school districts and public libraries. In years when local assessed valuation increases, these entities could receive more local funding. This occurs not because schools or libraries increase their own tax rate, but because the county is taking in and distributing more tax revenues. If the assessed valuation decreases in the community, each entity could therefore receive less local funding. There are mechanisms in place at the state level which prevent an entity from having a windfall or seeing their funding drop too low. Those calculations are provided to these entities from the State Auditor’s Office. A Public Notice of Tax Rate Hearing must be published in the local newspaper.
This year, Perry County’s assessed valuation increased by $26,971,109. Therefore, organizations within the county which receive local tax funding could receive more revenue from taxes. If all local taxes are paid, District 32 will see an increase of $923,026. As calculated by the State Auditor’s Office, the district’s tax rate increased by $0.002 - a fraction of a penny. If your home is assessed at $100,000, you could potentially see an increase of $2 in your taxes.
Local entities routinely approve the new tax rates — and with inflation at 7% today, our board would be remiss to reject increased revenues that offset our increased costs. Additional funds also help us build a fund balance to allow us to continue our mission in years when revenues are lower.
As part of the electorate, I trust the local folks serving on various taxing entity boards and the people who work at those related organizations to know best how to use any increased revenue to best serve the community. Like those other boards, the Board of Education at Perry County School District 32 is composed of elected members, all of whom are longtime residents of the community who volunteer their leadership to guide our schools. As president of the District 32 Board of Education, I am absolutely certain that Superintendent Comstock and the board acted with full transparency and integrity in fulfilling this annual responsibility.
Board of Education President
Perry County School District 32
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