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School board to hear feedback on proposed tax increase

Motion to move forward with tax increase passed 3-2
Posted at 11:23 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 06:04:19-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Fayette County Board of Education is moving forward with a proposal to increase property taxes. Now, the public has two weeks to have their voices heard before a final vote on the matter.

The board voted to move to the next steps in a special meeting on Thursday. The motion passed 3-2.

If ultimately approved, board chair Stephanie Aschmann Spires said that the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $7 more in taxes.

"Until we revisit how we're communicating a lot of these priorities with the community, I cannot support any increase above the current rates," said school board member Tyler Murphy.

Murphy and Will Nash voted no. Nash told LEX 18's Katherine Collins that the residents of Fayette County are fully invested in schools, and now it is time for the state to do its part.

"They've cut transportation spending, they've cut professional development dollars, they've made other cuts, and we have a relationship with the state such that we should be partners in this," said Nash.

Spires agreed, but said she believes a tax increase is needed to prevent cuts to current programs.

"We would have to immediately look at staffing reductions, we would have to look at reducing programs. We would have to put off some programs that we have wanting to add online," said Spires.

There will be two chances for the public to speak in front of the board. One will be at their meeting on August 26, and another at a meeting that has not yet been scheduled. All of the council members that spoke with LEX 18 said that they will wait to hear from the public before making a final decision.