For the fourth year in a row, the Covington Board of Education has decided not to increase its property tax rate. At its meeting Wednesday night, the board voted 5-0 to take the minimum compensating tax instead of an allowable 4 percent increase.
Superintendent Alvin Garrison credited board leadership with not having to increase the tax rate. He said the district's budget committee, which includes two board members, the district's finance director and other district personnel, meets throughout the year to review the budget - looking at spending patterns and ways to reduce costs.
"The district has been good stewards of taxpayers' money,'' Garrison said.
Taking the compensating rate means the district will generate nearly the same amount of revenues as it did the previous year. The board's action decreases the real property tax rate from 113.2 cents to 111.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, while the property tax rate will go from 115.6 cents to 115.7 cents per $100 property valuation. The new rate is expected to generate $16,800,017.
"This is huge that we are lowering the tax rates,'' said Julie Geisen Scheper, vice chair of the board.
Board Chair Joyce Baker said the ongoing budgeting process has proven to be healthy for taxpayers and the district.
"At this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the district and the community to take the compensating rate,'' she said.
Board member Jerry Avery, who is a member of the budgeting committee, said the committee is always looking at ways to save money.