School board adopts Nickle Tax

Posted May 23, 2019 at 10:24 am

Nickle Tax Effect Table.pdf

Following a few years of ideas and several months of discussion, the Clinton County Board of Education officially took action on the “Nickel Tax” at its regular monthly business meeting Monday, May 20.

The item was added as an addendum to the agenda and voted on prior to the public comment period, when Superintendent Charlotte Naseif presented the board members–in which all were present–a copy of the proposed motion pertaining to the tax.

The following motion was made by long-time advocate of the tax, Gary Norris, seconded by board chairman Kevin Marcum, and passed with all five members of the board voting in favor.

The motion states, “that the Clinton County Board of Education adopt an additional five cents ($0.05) equivalent tax rate on real and personal property, which will produce revenue of five cents ($0.05) per one hundred dollars ($100) of property assessed. For the 2018-19 fiscal year, the District’s five cent equivalent rate is 6.0 cents, which when applied to the current rate, as defined in KRS 132.012, brings the total real property rate to 51.4 cents. The District’s five cents ($0.05) equivalent rate changes each year and may be higher or lower than applied to future tax bills. The District will begin collecting the additional revenue from this levy during the 2019-20 fiscal year. The revenue produced by this increase will be dedicated to major renovation of existing school facilities, new construction, or debt service.”

The “Nickel Tax” is revenue that is “matched” by the state and is used solely for school facility renovation and/or construction and it is hoped that in the future, will produce enough revenue to construct a new Clinton County High School, which has been the goal of many for several years.

Board member Norris said the good part about the tax is that the state would be paying for most of the cost of a new high school.

Former board member Jeff Sams, who advocated for the nickel tax during his tenure on the board, was at the meeting and expressed his support for the board decision, saying it was the right thing to do for the (school) district.

He noted that as a board member himself, the hardest thing a member had to do was vote to raise taxes. “No one likes to do that,” he said.

Superintendent Nasief also added that the maintenance cost at the current high school, which was constructed in the early 1960s, was getting extremely expensive with recurring problems and feels in the long run, constructing a new facility is the best thing to do.

Newest board member Leslie Stockton also asked the administrators and staff that were in attendance at the meeting to explain to people in the community the need for the additional revenue and to help them understand what the tax is about.

Director of Finance Mike Reeves also put together a graph showing the revenue that would be raised by the nickel tax and how the average taxpayer (in dollars) would be affected when they receive their tax bills. (A copy of that graph can be found in this week’s Clinton County News.)

More details on the nickel tax issue will be published in the weeks and months ahead.

The board also dealt with several items of business during its lengthy session Monday night, including:

* Recognized several KONA students from both the Clinton County Middle School and Clinton County High School.

* Approved between meeting disbursements, trips/schedules and payment of bills.

* Approved the tentative budget for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year, which totals just under $20.6 million in three categories, the general fund ($11.7 million); food services, ($2.7 million); and Fund II account of $2.7 million.

Finance Director Mike Reeves again noted that if you dismiss the “on-behalf” money that is included in the budget but not controlled by the district itself, the amount would be approximately $16 million total.

The board also approved the following annual items for the next school year: school activity budgets; certified and classified salary schedules; substitute teacher salary schedules; declaring an emergency for substitute teachers; monthly employee pay dates and membership with the GRREC (Green River Region Education Cooperative).

The board also approved various insurance policies, including Robert’s Insurance Company for student coverage with a catastrophic addendum amount. The total cost to the district is $46,909, and, according to local agent Mike Davis, that policy did not increase from last year.

The board also approved Liberty Mutual for umbrella coverage for facilities, vehicles, etc. at $169,411 and KEMI for worker’s compensation at $44,935.

The board also approved a change order in the tennis court repavement project to include $11,000 plus for the demolition of the old annex building.

The board also voted to approve a Work Ethics Certification Program plan which Instructional Supervisor Paula Little said would benefit all students and teach them values they would need when entering the workforce.

The board then voted to again contract with Forward Edge to provide random drug testing of staff and students in the district for next year, approved the annual agreement with the Family Resource and Youth Services Center, voted to declare approximately 203 pieces of outdated technology as obsolete and have those items sold to a recyler and approved minor amendments to the past year’s school calendar.

Director of Pupil Personnel Julie York then gave the monthly attendance report for the ninth month of school, which again showed an increase in ADA (Average Daily Attendance).

Attendance for the month, compared to the same month a year ago, was up by .35 percent, standing at 93.56 compared to 93.21 for the 2017-18 year.

Albany Elementary again showed the most improved attendance for the month as well as the highest attendance rate at 96.09 percent.

A final year-round attendance report will be given at the June board meeting.

Following the monthly superintendent’s report by Superintendent Nasief and public comments, mostly addressed about the nickel tax, the board, at 5:44 p.m., entered into two “separate” executive sessions pertaining to the possible disciplinary action or expulsion of a student or students.

The next school board work session is scheduled for Thursday, June 13 and next regular business meeting for Monday, June 17. Both meetings will be at the Central Office and both are open to the general public.