The Mason County Board of Education will hold a public hearing Dec. 18 to discuss the possibility of adding a second nickel to its tax rate.

Mason County Schools Superintendent Rick Ross said the money raised from a possible tax increase would help the district complete some much-needed renovations and maintenance repairs.

"We have several buildings in need of maintenance," he said. "We have some buildings that need a roof, new HVAC systems, and our area technology center is outdated."

According to Ross, the proposed tax levy of 54.9 cents on real property and 54.9 cents on personal property is expected to generate $6.95 million. Of that amount, $1.25 million would be from new personal property.

Ross also said the compensating tax rate for 2018 is 49.1 cents on real property and 49.1 cents on personal property and is expected to produce $6.2 million.

The 2017 tax rate was 48.8 cents for real property and 48.8 cents for personal property and generated $6 million.

Ross said the board already has one nickel tax and is proposing the second nickel due to the maintenance needs of the school district.

"Almost everyone around us has the double nickel already," Ross said. "There is a lot of work that needs to be done to several buildings and this will help us accomplish that."

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, the nickel tax was created by the General Assembly to allow additional funding sources for facility construction to address specific needs by school districts.

The tax, though called a nickel tax, is often higher than five cents because the SEEK calculation takes into consideration that the tax is applied to real and personal property, but is not added to motor vehicle property.

The tax is adjusted "in anticipation that districts will collect less than 100 percent of the actual tax revenue owed," according to the KDE.

The public hearing for the tax will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Straub Elementary School on Monday, Dec. 18 with a board meeting to follow.

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