Christian Fiscal Court has unanimously approved on first reading its tax ordinance for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, with the tax rates remaining the same for the new fiscal year.

Magistrates voted in favor of the first reading of the document during Tuesday’s court meeting, and a second reading of the ordinance will take place at the court’s Sept. 22 meeting.

The ordinance approved by the court Tuesday noted that the 2020 compensating tax rate for county taxes in Christian County has been certified to be 18.5 cents per $100 valuation of property.

That amount is subject to full county rates.

Additionally, the tax will be levied on all real estate, tangible, personal and public service company property that is subject to county tax. These taxes will provide revenue for general purposes and for the maintenance of roads and bridges in the county, the ordinance noted.

Special districts will also be taxed including county real estate, at 18.7 cents per $100 assessed valuation, 11.6 cents for motor vehicles and watercraft, $2.40 for Christian County Agricultural Extension District real property and 40 cents for the Christian County Soil Conservation District.

The ordinance also includes a tax of 3 cents per acre on all timberland to be used by the Division of Forestry Fire Control and a tax rate of 6 cents per $100 assessed valuation in the west and east forks of Pond River, to be used for soil and water conservation purposes.

A separate section of the ordinance pertains to license fees for restaurants, retail outlets of soft drinks and ice cream, billiard tables, pool tables and bowling alleys, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages like retail malt beverages and distilled spirits and wine at retail by the drink.

The ordinance noted that a county budget adopted for the 2020-2021 fiscal year provides for gross estimated receipts from tax levies amounting to $7.2 million, and the tax levies mentioned in the ordinance are estimated to produce that amount of gross tax revenue.

Tuesday’s meeting also included a motion by the magistrates that authorized Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble to sign a modified agreement with the Kentucky Department of Corrections for the substance abuse program at the Christian County Jail.

The modifications did not pertain to any funds related to the program.

Officials responded to an inquiry from local resident Dianne Wood with funds from the CARES Act received by the county. The county will receive $2.3 million in CARES Act funds, but has only gotten $850,892.22 to date, and Christian County Treasurer Walter Cummings noted that those funds will be used as reimbursement for salaries and benefits for first responders.

Those first responders are in the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.

Cummings said officials plan to request another portion of those funds in October and the last in January. Those funds too are expected to be used for reimbursement for salaries and benefits but may also be used for personal protective equipment and sanitizing the Christian County Courthouse.

Like the court’s previous meetings, this meeting was broadcast on Facebook Live, but the fiscal court has had some difficulties with a new sound system it has had in place for its past three meetings, affecting the ability for those watching the meeting to hear comments.

The judge-executive said officials plan to have representatives of Music Central, the company that did the work, to attend the next few court meetings to work out those issues.

In other business:

  • Christian County Magistrate Jerry Gilliam said the Hopkinsville-Christian County Library is hosting a fundraiser for its Imagination Library program Oct. 15 at The Mixer. Called Bourbon and Books, the event will offer a full-course meal with bourbon tastings.
  • The court approved a request from the treasurer to hire Tyler Kinney, a co-op student at Christian County High School, to be a part-time office assistant in the treasurer’s office.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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