Five people have asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to decide whether a special taxing district created for the McLean County Public Library is legal.
The plaintiffs are seeking to overturn a decision by the McLean Fiscal Court that created the district in Livermore, saying the fiscal court violated Kentucky law when it formed the special district. The group also wants the county prohibited from collecting any money and an order returning any funds already collected. Muhlenberg Circuit Judge Brian Wiggins ruled Nov. 27 that the taxing district was created legally and that the McLean Fiscal Court had acted appropriately. Wiggins received the case after McLean Circuit Judge Brian Crick recused himself. The suit was originally filed in April. County Attorney Bill Quisenberry told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that a settlement seems unlikely in this case. Quisenberry said Wiggins made the correct decision and that the library district is legal. "We felt that all along he agreed with us, and I think he agreed with us pretty readily that the actions taken were within the legal parameters required," Quisenberry said. "We still feel that way and believe the court of appeals will agree. It's a shame that they are dragging it on, costing the county the time and energy and resources. But it is also their right to do so." Steven Crone, an Owensboro-based attorney representing the five plaintiffs, said his clients wanted to take the case before the appeals court. "We disagree with the ruling," Crone said. "We respect that, but we do disagree with it. ... We have a dispute, some confusion really, on the authority for setting up these taxing districts." A randomly selected three-judge panel from the appeals court will hear the case. Quisenberry estimated that the appeals court would hear the case sometime over the summer. "It's totally up to the court when they rule after that," Quisenberry said.