The Logan County school board voted Thursday to take a 4 percent increase to the taxes of property in its district, which includes all of Logan County with the exception of those home in the Russellville Independent district.
Last year’s tax rate for the county was just 37.7 cents per $100. Even by taking the full four percent increase, that will only raise Logan’s rate to 38.0 cents - which translates to about a $3 increase on a home valued at $100,000.
Logan County schools superintendent Marshall Kemp said he and the board did not like raising taxes, but that it has become a necessity because of the many budget cuts the district has had to withstand in recent years.
“There were two years during this recession where we didn’t take an increase,” Kemp said. “Last year didn’t have much choice and we took the four percent increase and this year, we for sure didn’t have a choice.”
Before last week’s increase, Logan County ranked as the 12th lowest school district in the state with regard to property tax rates.
“When you have been the 12th lowest out of 174 school districts, I think that shows that we have not abused the taxing rights too much,” Kemp said. “We are trying to be fair to the taxpayers as well as students and teachers.”
Kemp said only two individuals attended last week’s meeting and only one spoke up about the tax increases.
“And he was for raising the taxes as long as we are good stewards of that money,” Kemp said.
The Logan County board voted unanimously for the increase. The raise in taxes will mean about $172,418 more per year for the Logan County school district’s general fund.
“We’re just trying to generate the money because we’re still trying to have some quality of education delivery in place,” Kemp said.