Whitley County property owners can expect little to no change in their land and vehicle taxes as the four taxing districts that report to the fiscal court have all elected not to increase their rates from 2015.
At Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, the fiscal court approved the rates for real estate, personal property, motor vehicles and watercraft for the county library, soil conservation, extension service and health department.
“This is all of the taxing districts with the exception of the schools,” said Judge-executive Pat White Jr.
The county’s tax rates remained the same across the board.
Real estate will be 7.8 cents per $100 of valuation.
Personal property will be 9.7 cents per $100 of valuation.
Motor vehicles and watercraft will both be 10.7 cents per $100 of valuation.
The Whitley County Public Library Board was the one exception, opting to lower the real estate and person property rates from 5.2 cents per $100 of valuation to 5.1 cents.
The library’s motor vehicle and watercraft rates remain at 2 cents per $100.
Soil conservation’s only tax is on real estate. That rate remains at 1.4 cents per $100 of valuation.
The extension service rates are once again 5.3 cents on real estate, 13.82 on personal property, 1.39 on motor vehicles and watercraft.
The health department’s rates remain at 4 cents per $100 of valuation on real estate, personal property, motor vehicles and watercraft.
In other business the fiscal court:
- Appointed Larry Reynolds to the Cumberland Falls Highway Water District.
- Accepted a petition to accept Marvin Brooks Spur Road into the county road system.
- Approved a resolution from the Whitley County Health Department in support of the institution of a syringe exchange program in Whitley County.
Health Department Director Martha Steele said the program will cost the fiscal court nothing, noting the health department will provide the $6,000-$8,000 to purchase the supplies.
Steele said the program is desperately needed in Whitley County in an effort combat the spread of diseases, such as Hepatitis C and HIV and other blood-borne diseases that are commonly transmitted by sharing syringes.
“Swabbing a needle with alcohol will not kill these types of diseases,” Steele explained.
Steele said it is not just about protecting the drug users and their families, but also police and emergency personnel who frequently come into contact with them.
“It costs $84,000 to get treated for Hep C,” Steele said noting it can just as easily be an officer or EMS worker who is stuck with a contaminated syringe.
In addition, it lessens the chance that syringes will be dumped in parking lots or other places where other members of the public may accidentally be stuck.
“It helps protect the community,” Steele said.
Steele added that the program is not just for any drug user to come and get a fresh supply of needles.
“There are certain criteria they must meet to participate,” Steele said noting that near the top of the list is for the user to go to counseling.
“We can get them back to where they can be productive members of society,” Steele said.
Steel said the goal is to have the program up and ready to go by the end of the year.