Insurance tax will take effect July 1 in Garrard

March 10, 2004|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - Garrard Fiscal Court took two big steps Tuesday toward dealing with the county's financial troubles.

Magistrates, unanimously and with little discussion, gave final approval to a 6 percent insurance tax on virtually all policies except health. The levy is expected to raise about $425,000 annually. It takes effect July 1.

The court also put the sale of the county farm on Poorhouse Road on the fast track. Over the next two weeks, the county will advertise for bids from real estate professionals to handle the sale of the farm. On March 26, the bids will be opened in a special session of the court and, most likely, a contract awarded then.

The sale of the farm is expected to generate between $300,000 and $400,000.

Proceeds from the insurance tax and the farm sale are intended to help pay down the county's $4.5 million debt to the Kentucky Association of Counties, which made a loan in 2001 to help the county resuscitate Garrard County Memorial Hospital. It closed in August.


In soliciting bids from real estate professionals, the county will make three requirements: They must tell what buyer's premium they will charge; they must say how much they will spend on advertising for the sale; and they must pay surveying costs for the land.

Additionally, the county has set various guidelines for the actual sale. The land will be sold in tracts under the "pick and choose" method, with a buyer having the option to purchase additional tracts. A buyer also can purchase the farm as a whole. The county will pay to install water lines only if the land is sold in lots.

No date has been set on the sale.

In other financial business, County Clerk Stacy May handed the court a $127,411 check for final settlement of excess fees from her office from 2003 to the county. The settlement check in 2002 was $77,812.

May said the county saw increased revenues in licenses and transportation fees, usage tax and delinquent real estate tax.

Also, the court declined a request by Sheriff Ronnie Wardrip to keep $12,125 in excess fees from his office rather than turn the money over to the county. Wardrip said he wanted to buy more weapons and other gear.

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