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JCPS board votes to increase district's tax rate by 7 cents, starting 50-day recall window
WDRB News Louisville ^ | May 21, 2020 | Kevin Wheatley

Posted on 05/21/2020 5:22:59 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education voted 5-2 Thursday to increase the district’s property tax rate by 7 cents per $100 of assessed property value, setting up a potential recall at the polls in November if opponents can garner enough support.

Board members Diane Porter, Chris Kolb, James Craig, Corrie Shull and Joe Marshall voted for the rate increase while board members Chris Brady and Linda Duncan voted against it.

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio recommended the board pass the higher tax rate, which puts the district's tax rate at 80.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value and is estimated to generate $51.5 million more in revenue. That would generate about 11% more in property tax revenue than collected for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Supporters of higher property tax rates outnumbered opponents during Thursday’s hearing before the school board, which occurred before the vote.

Four of the seven speakers during Thursday’s hearing, who addressed the board one at a time through videoconferencing at VanHoose Education Center while practicing social distancing, backed upping the property tax rate to build new schools and fix existing facilities, hire more staff and develop robust learning supports around students, among other spending possibilities.

“It’s time to go beyond quick fixes and implementing a Band-Aid approach when addressing needs in our district,” said Faith Stroud, principal at Robert Frost Sixth Grade Academy and Stuart Academy. “We need to make a bold commitment to replace the crumbling infrastructure in our district due to the fact that we serve scholars who need the most support and resources in the whole district.”

Shroud said 87% of her 1,250 students receive free or reduced-price meals and said her building needs more resources to better serve their needs.

Additional funding could also help her hire more teachers. Her school had eight vacancies that remained unfilled throughout the 2019-20 school year.

“I agree with Dr. Pollio about this needed, this very needed tax increase because it’s about equity,” Shroud said. “It’s about meeting the needs of our kids.”

Her sentiments were echoed by others who backed raising property tax revenues for JCPS.

Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, called the lack of investment in education locally “shameful.”

She urged the board to invest higher property tax revenues in areas like facilities, teacher pay and technology, the latter of which has emerged as a vital learning tool with school districts forced to stop offering in-person instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think JCPS owes it to these students to ensure that they have what they need,” Reynolds said, advocating for every student in the district to be provided a device. “... We do not have the time to waste. The Urban League will stand behind you.”

Not everyone was on board with the proposed property tax increase, originally advertised at 8 cents per $100 of assessed property value, during Thursday's hearing.

One woman suggested that the elderly cannot afford to pay higher property tax bills while living on fixed incomes, and a man noted that 2.4 million people filed initial unemployment claims across the U.S. last week.

In Kentucky, nearly 800,000 have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began in March.

“If people are unemployed or out of work, right now their main this is trying to put food on their tables and feed their kids and family,” the man said, noting that many are also struggling to make mortgage payments.

“We’re going through a very bad time just to survive right now,” he said.

JCPS did not immediately provide a list of speakers who addressed the board Thursday.

The 7-cent uptick in the property tax rate would push the district’s rate to 80.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value, which would mean those who own $100,000 homes would owe $806 in property taxes starting this fall.

But an effort to gather enough signatures to put the property tax increase in the hands of voters has already emerged since the uptick would generate more than 4% in revenue growth.

Theresa Camoriano, president of the Louisville Tea Party, has said a group is formalizing plans to collect signatures for a possible recall vote once a new tax rate is set. She called the pandemic the "worst time to raise anybody's taxes."

A website domain,, has already been secured to help the group's efforts to electronically collect the 35,615 signatures needed over a 50-day period to put an increased tax rate before local voters in the fall elections, Camoriano said. The signatures must be collected from registered voters who live in the affected area.

JCPS has also begun laying the groundwork to boost community support in defense of the rate increase.

The district signed a contract worth up to $575,000 with Danville-based consulting firm Osborne & Associates to handle public relations for its pursuit of higher taxes.

This report will be updated.

Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Kentucky
KEYWORDS: schools; taxes
For those of you not familiar with the Jefferson County (Louisville, KY) school board, this is a bloated, corrupt, leftist school system. It should be dissolved, everyone fired, and started over.

It is notable that the board can pass tax increases without public approval and the public has 50 days to get signatures to get a challenge to it on the ballot. Ass backwards in favor of the autocrats.

And with a coup de gras of incredible arrogance, the board is hiring a PR firm for over 1/2 million dollars of taxpayer monies to fight the taxpayers who object to the tax increase. That's government under liberals.

1 posted on 05/21/2020 5:22:59 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Schools haven’t been in session since mid-March. It seems that a good portion of the property taxes I paid, of which 75% was designated for schools, will not be needed this year. I’ve requested a refund for my over-payment. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t heard back from the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education or the Franklin County Board of Education. The board traditionally increases the school tax rate every year by the maximum amount. Realistically, I expect no refund for this year and another tax increase for next year. The Franklin County Board of Education serves only as a rubber-stamp to the Superintendent.

2 posted on 05/21/2020 5:46:22 PM PDT by lakecumberlandvet (Appeasement never works.)
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To: ChildOfThe60s
For those of you not familiar with the Jefferson County (Louisville, KY) school board, this is a bloated, corrupt, leftist school system.

that’s the entirety of NY State too, my FRiend.

Put on the ballot a motion to stop all teacher salaries if there are any Covid-19 shutdowns after June 1, and I guarantee you - they will all be pushing for reopening immediately - and will never hear of the disease again.

3 posted on 05/21/2020 5:50:49 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Agreed that hiring a PR firm was a waste of tax dollars, but what they are paying is nominal.

I’m at 2.85 per 100.

My siblings in NY are twice that, 16K a year.

Excellent schools though, so worth it for me.

4 posted on 05/21/2020 6:14:12 PM PDT by TheWriterTX (Trust not in earthly princes....)
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Looking at the headline, I thought that the Collin County had revoked a tax credit to JCPenny since they filed bankruptcy. After all, the story is about JCPs tax.

5 posted on 05/21/2020 6:27:42 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: lakecumberlandvet

Jefferson County spends a *substantial* amount of money on busing students, some of which have to ride an hour each way because of desegregation rules.

At the hearings, one tax payer asked the board what they did with this money and the other money not spent because the schools were empty. Think of the utilities costs for a school system of this size.

Deaf ears.

It often seems to me that some of the most arrogant and amoral people in our society are in charge of the so called education of our children. Our daughter is 36 and I have been grateful every single day since she was 16 and headed off to college that we homeschooled her. I won’t say we sacrificed because it was instead the most rewarding experience of our lives. There is literally no dollar amount that equals the benefits to her in life.

6 posted on 05/21/2020 6:38:17 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the weren't really there)
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To: PAR35

They just raised taxes a short time ago!

Meanwhile, they pay excessive salaries to admin managers.

7 posted on 05/21/2020 6:43:54 PM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them!it)
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To: ChildOfThe60s
I pay high property taxes here in Washington state....then again our teachers are treated like prima donnas with the last average pay raise at 16%...AVERAGE....

but idiots just keep voting yes to every tax raise....

8 posted on 05/21/2020 8:35:28 PM PDT by cherry
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To: ChildOfThe60s

Typical leftist/Marxist approach to power. Let the virus kill the old and non-productive people, then tax the crap of what remains of the working class who have jobs, and probably tax those who are getting unemployment or who will have no jobs very soon.

Time to clean house, sane people of Kentucky and Louisville is a great place to start. Just think of yourselves as “voting RotoRotor People and Ex-Lax Distributors”.

9 posted on 05/22/2020 2:27:49 AM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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