The Bowling Green Independent School District has approved a tax increase for city residents to help renovate its aging high school.
A nickel tax was passed unanimously at the BGISD Board of Education meeting Monday night. It will raise property taxes from 78.1 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 83.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
The tax increase is expected to generate more than $11 million toward the $60 million renovation.
Superintendent Gary Fields says the tax bump will allow the school system to borrow $27 million, an increase from its current $15 million bonding capacity.
"The other positive is that the state in all likelihood will match that nickel, which will bring another ten million back to the district in bonding capacity, which would take that bonding potential to $37 million," explained Fields.
The project would update fine arts and science classrooms and allow more space for the new LEAD Academy for freshmen, and the Medical Arts Academy that will open this fall.
The renovation of Bowling Green High School will start next spring and is scheduled to be finished by early 2020.
Meanwhile, a recall effort is underway in Daviess County after that school system approved a nickel tax to fund renovations to Apollo High School and build a new Daviess County Middle School. A petition is circulating to put the tax up for a vote by county residents.
Opponents have until June 30 to collect enough signatures. If that happens, the school district can either rescind the nickel tax or move forward with the special election.
Fields says a recall election is a concern, but thinks Bowling Green's situation is different.
"That is their third nickel tax to fund construction projects," Fields stated. "This is the first nickel tax the Bowling Green Independent School District is enacting for a building project."
There have been at least eight initiatives in the state to approve nickel taxes this year, according to the Kentucky School Boards Association.