By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The Carter County Emergency Ambulance Board held a public hearing on their tax rate Monday afternoon before voting in a special meeting to approve the tax rate for real property and tangibles.
The tax rate will remain at 0.10 (ten cents) per 100 dollars of valuation on both real estate and tangible assets.
Tangible assets include automobiles, boats, business assets that aren’t real estate, and other physical assets that are taxable.
The current tax rate of 0.10 has been the ambulance district’s rate for the last two years, ambulance service executive director Rick Loperfido said. But, because it is slightly higher than the compensating rate allowed by the state this year, the district was required to hold the public hearing to allow community comment before passing the rate.
The compensating rate for this year was 0.097 (9.7 cents per 100 dollars of valuation), Loperfido said.
The state defines the compensating rate as the rate that, “when applied to the current year’s assessment of real property, excluding new property, will produce an amount of revenue approximately equal (to) that produced” in the previous year, according to the Kentucky Department of Revenue’s website at revenue.ky.gov.
While no one’s tax rate will increase as a result of this decision, maintaining the current rate should earn the ambulance service slightly more than they made in the previous year. However, board president John Brooks explained, it won’t be enough to cover all the service’s expected financial needs.
Speaking as the board teleconferenced in members to vote on the rate, Brooks explained that the tax rate is currently capped by the state legislature at the 0.10 rate. The statute governing the district’s tax rate, KRS 75.040(1)(a), relating to the levy powers of fire and emergency ambulance service taxing districts, explicitly states “the tax levied by the district shall not exceed ten cents ($0.10) per one hundred dollars ($100) of valuation as assessed for county taxes.”
However, Brooks said, that amount still isn’t sufficient to cover all of the ambulance service’s needs.
“If we could go to 15 cents, it would take care of all our problems,” Brooks said.
For now, though, that isn’t an option.
The board voted unanimously to maintain the rate at 0.10 per 100 dollars.
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