FCPS not raising property tax rates

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – For the third time in five years Fayette County Public Schools is not raising property tax rates.

The school board has decided to levy a rate of 81 cents for real estate, and 76 cents for personal property per $100 assessed valuation and a total motor vehicles property rate of 59.2 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which is the same as last year.

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Meanwhile, Urban County Government also won’t raise property taxes this year.

The council voted unanimously last week to keep property taxes, at the same rate as before.

Superintendent Manny Caulk released this statement:

“I am proud that for the third time in the five years since I was hired, Fayette County Public Schools has not raised property tax rates while still investing in the strategic priorities that are making a difference in the lives of the students and families we serve. This is especially significant considering that between 2000 and 2015, Fayette County Public Schools adopted the property tax rate that generated a 4 percent increase in revenue every year but one.

I am fiscally conservative. To me, responsible budgeting is about living within your means and providing the best and most equitable education for students. If it becomes necessary to ask our community to pay higher taxes, I would want them to know where that money is going and what investments they are making. Given the economic challenges the pandemic has brought to so many families in our community, I did not feel this was the right time to ask for a higher tax rate.

To me, this is just about being a servant leader. Despite the fact that our district has kept the property tax rate the same three out of five years, we have still made significant progress, purchased a districtwide curriculum, hired more teachers to work with our most vulnerable student populations, expanded services, and implemented innovative programs like the Success Academy, Promise Academies and Rise STEM Academy for Girls.

We have been able to do so because of the tremendous partnerships with our community, such as Commerce Lexington’s support of The Academies of Lexington, philanthropic investments in the district, the leadership of our Fayette County Board of Education, and a great team of finance and budgeting officers here at the district level.”