The Greenup County Soil and Water Conservation District wants to become a stand-alone, tax-supported entity, rather than having to rely on the Greenup Fiscal Court for its funding.

Allen Hanson, secretary/treasurer of the district’s board of supervisors, told the court on Tuesday the agency planned to seek a tax that would generate revenue of $25,000 a year.

The decision to do so, Hanson said, was made after the district requested that amount from the fiscal court for the 2006-07 fiscal year, but was turned down. Instead, the court gave the district $10,000, he said.

The allocation was part of the county’s $8.3 million spending plan for the coming fiscal year. The court approved the second reading of the budget, which takes effect July 1, at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The budget, which includes an across-the-board raise of 3.8 percent for the county’s employees, anticipates general fund revenues and expenditures of $1.85 million, road fund revenues and expenditures of $2.64 million and jail fund revenues and expenditures of $1.2 million.

Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter said the county simply didn’t have enough money to be able to give the soil and water conservation district what it requested. He said $10,000 was the amount that the court customarily allocated to the agency, although last year, the district received $12,000.

Having a tax base would provide the district with greater financial stability and enable it to have some idea of how much revenue to expect from year to year, Hanson told the court.

According to Hanson, a property tax of .02 percent, or two one-hundredths of a cent, per $100 valuation, would be needed to provide the district with $25,000 a year. That would amount to an assessment of 2 cents a year on a $100,000 home, he said.

Hanson said he thought that was a small price to pay for the services provided by the district, which include educational programs and a poster and essay contest for students in the county’s schools.

County Attorney Mike Wilson agreed.

“I think the benefits far exceed what anyone would have to pay,” he said.

Wilson said he had spoken to Hanson about the matter and was in the process of researching the procedure for establishing a taxing district.

At some point, Wilson said, the tax would become subject to a voter referendum, providing that enough registered voters sign petitions, which would then be submitted to the county clerk’s office.

Hanson said the tax would be so minuscule that he couldn’t imagine anyone objecting to it.

He also said that spinning off the district would give the fiscal court an additional $10,000 a year to spend on other things.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

Recommended for you