Hopkins Co. School Board tables utility tax vote - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hopkins Co. School Board tables utility tax vote


Dozens of Hopkins County taxpayers spoke out against a proposed tax hike during a public hearing Monday.

Around 50 people packed the Board of Education's meeting room in Madisonville to voice their concerns on a proposed 3 percent utility tax that would affect tens of thousands of people across the district.

Hopkins County School Board officials argue the decline in state education funding and the pension reform crisis are the reasons to add the tax on city and county residents.

The utility tax would include individual bills like cable, water and natural gas to pump an estimated $1.5 million into the county school's general fund, according to board member Steve Faulk. If passed, Dawson Springs residents would be exempt from paying the tax because of its independent school district.

"How much of the money has the county wasted on this tech center that is just sitting out there wasting away," asked Patty Summer, one of the 14 people who verbally opposed the tax.

"Why is every generalized hint of need always tagged with 'added pension problems,' questioned Bruce Cheryl.

Many of the taxpayer's questions were left unanswered Monday night, as board members told the crowd they wouldn't respond after every constituent's time on the podium.  The panel wanted to get through listening to everyone voice their concerns in a timely manner before starting the regular meeting.

Despite cutting personnel costs and staffing, officials say the uncertainties of Kentucky's legislative decisions are going to cut deep. Board members argue they'll be a million dollars short without the tax. 

Because so many spoke out against the proposal, the board unanimously voted to table the vote for another time. No word yet on when that is. It's a story we'll continue to follow.

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