Daviess County schools could be annexed into city limits

Daviess County schools could be annexed into city limits

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro City Commissioners heard the first reading of the possible annexation of nine Daviess County school properties on Tuesday.

Those are: Apollo high school, Daviess County high school, Burns middle school, Burns elementary school, Highland elementary school, the new property for Daviess County middle school, DCPS Transportation department, DCSP maintenance department and DCPS central office.

Superintendent Matt Robbins says this would not change their philosophy or the way the schools operate. But it would affect paychecks.

“They literally do live pay check to pay check," Robbins said. "And so any nuance to their pay has a ripple effect not only in the economy, but in their personal economy.”

The ordinance would mean all employees at the schools that were annexed would pay the city’s occupational tax. That rate is 1.78 percent compared to .35 percent in the county.

“For the school district to make up that difference is, you know, is too exorbitant," Robbins said. "So it would have to be a tax that would have to be paid 100% by the employees.”

But Daviess County fiscal court is also proposing an occupational tax increase to one percent by 2021. That would mean teachers at all Daviess County schools would eventually be paying more.

The city says the tax dollars would bring in an estimated $500,000 per year to go to the pension reserve.

“We understand they they have very real and difficult situations that they face with pension costs," Robbins said. "Unfortunately we have some of the same reality that we have to deal with as well.”

Robbins shared that if the ordinance eventually does go through, litigation is a possibility.

“We believe that a property owner has well within their rights to make decisions that impact what happens to that property," Robbins said.

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