Insufficient revenue was the last business discussed at the Mason County Fiscal Court on Jan 10, 2023. County Treasurer Kim Muse stated annual tax revenue has repeatedly failed to cover yearly expenses. Even before Judge Pfeffer’s untimely death, Mason County had been consuming “savings” to meet the County’s annual budget shortfall. 

Owen Mc Neill said that he, his predecessor Judge Pfeffer ad county commissioners have each examined the county budget to hold spending to a bare minimum.

These facts make the County’s expected future cash flow even more dire.  

  1. The cost of equipment to deliver services the County must provide continues to rise.
  2. Attracting and holding county employees forces payroll and benefit costs up.
  3. Commissioner Mc Kay says KY legislators tell him to expect less tax money to flow from KY to Mason County.
  4. Federal COVID emergency payments to counties are ending. 

Because all “rainy day funds” are spent, the fiscal court voted to hold a public meeting to discuss these issues on Jan 24, 2023, at 5:30 PM. Location to be announced.

One solution discussed was a 1.01% Occupational License Fee (sometimes called a payroll tax.) State law limits Kentucky’s maximum Occupational License Fee burden to 3%. Maysville already has a 1.99% Occupational License Fee. If this proposed solution is adopted, someone working in Maysville will continue to pay 1.99% of their wages to Maysville and will start paying 1.01% of their salary to Mason County. People working in Mason County but outside of Maysville will pay nothing to Maysville but will pay 1.01% of their salary to Mason County. If this proposal is adopted, people working in Maysville will pay the maximum Occupational License Fee rate allowed by Kentucky statute.

Press start to view Fiscal Court Discussion

Some folks had issues hearing Facebook sound so here is a YouTube version with sound gain turned up

If you want to understand local taxing decisions, you should attend the meeting on Jan 24, 2023, at 5:30 PM in the new Justice Center to discuss solutions to the repeating shortfall of annual revenue compared to expenses. 

This new tax under consideration, demonstrates one real-world effect (In 2022 dollars) of Mason County losing $60 million of annual rural income between 1974 and 2017. 

The final public focus group on the Mason County Comprehensive Plan’s themes will be held on Jan 17, 2023, at 6 PM on the 3rd floor of the Cox Building. The fact that Mason County Fiscal Court needs more revenue demands the comprehensive plan has a theme (strategy) that grows rural investment & profits.

If you haven’t already, please take this opportunity to Participate in Joint Planning Commission’s web survey (by clicking this link) it is another way to ask that the next comprehensive plan addresses the theme, “Grow Rural Investments & Profits.”