Taxpayers could see a 50 percent increase in their tax bills for three years should a judge rule in favor of a motion filed as part of a lawsuit against the hospital district.
The motion, filed last March by attorneys representing Farmers National Bank of Danville, begins the debate to decide who has the authority to establish a property tax for a taxing district that has set its tax rate at zero since 1998.
The civil action will be heard by David A. Tapp, circuit judge for Pulaski, Rockcastle and Lincoln counties. Judge Tapp was appointed to preside over the case after Circuit Judge Judy Vance stepped down. As a local landowner, Vance would be affected by the outcome of the case and that could be considered a conflict of interest.
Farmers National Bank of Danville filed the lawsuit in 2012 after the hospital defaulted on a payment. When court records were filed in March the hospital had not paid the January 2013 payment.
THE BANK’S ARGUMENT
In requesting a summary motion, the bank’s attorneys argue that a constitutional obligation to pay the debt overrides a state law that sets a maximum tax rate of 10 cents per $100 of assessed property value. George Smith, a Lexington attorney representing the bank, said he could not elaborate on the motion, but “what you see in the record is where the case stands at this time.”
To read more, get this week's issue of the Adair County Community Voice. Newspapers are in news racks throughout the county this afternoon and in mailboxes Thursday.
By Sharon Burton