Kentucky School District Wants to Increase Tax Rate to Pay for State-Mandated Safety Improvements

Kentucky School District Wants to Increase Tax Rate to Pay for State-Mandated Safety Improvements

Kentucky law now requires schools to have certain safety measures in place such as cameras and electric locks. However, the state is not fully funding this initiative causing some school districts to consider raising taxes.

School districts in Kentucky are now tasked with implementing state-mandated school safety improvements that are a part of Senate Bill 1.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported the Bowling Green Independent School District is concerned about how it will fund the safety improvements despite the state saying it will dedicate funds in next year’s budget.

To make sure the district has enough funding, the ISD wants board members to improve a tax rate increase.

The rate under consideration is 84.5 cents per $100 of real and personal property. The current rate is 82.8 cents per $100 of real and personal property. If approved, the rate is expected to generate $13 million.

SB 1, which was enacted in March, requires schools to have cameras and intercom systems, electronic locks and other safety enhancements that can be used during a school threat, according to the legislation.The bill states that schools must have this done no later than July 1, 2022.

The Courier Journal reported the bill was prompted by last year’s shooting at Marshall County High School in which two students were killed.

Although the bill addresses safety improvements, some legislators pointed out it does not address gun safety.

"Something we left out is some gun safety legislation," said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat. "I would love to see some gun safety legislation in the future."

Rep. George Brown, a Lexington Democrat, also commented on the matter.

"We have to do something to address guns that permeate our society," Brown said. "We are deaf, dumb and blind if we don't address that issue."

About the Author

Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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