“People aren’t working so they’ve got to decide whether they want to pay property taxes or eat,” Knott County Finance Officer Gregory Conn added. “We’re going to survive this year. Going into next year depends on how things come in this year and how things play out next year.”
The Magoffin County school board has similarly had to raise its property tax rate the last two years. Superintendent Scott Helton said in addition to the economic hardship, the situation also risks driving a wedge between the schools – and current school board members – and the community, he said.
“The other thing this does to us that a lot of people don’t talk about, it’s putting the burden back on our local school districts to try to fund themselves from a community that can’t afford it,” Helton said. “So we’re becoming the bad guys because we’re having to try to keep the doors open, try to keep people working, try to do the right things for the students. And we’re having to set tax rates that are outrageous on these small communities.”