Clark fiscal court approves lower tax rate

Clark County residents will get a slight break on property taxes this fall.

Wednesday, the Clark County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a tax rate of 9.1 cents per $100 value for real estate and 12.38 cents for personal property.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham recommended using the current rates of 9.3 cents for real property and 12.34 cents for personal property, which are the current rates and the ones used for the fiscal year 2019 budget.

For a $100,000 house, the difference would be $2.

Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos made the motion for the lower rate, citing increasing property values and an improving economy as reasons to make the change.

Branham said the change will reduce revenue by slightly more than $43,000, based on an 88.9 percent collection rate. It’s not enough of a change to have significant implications to the county’s finances, he said.

“We had that much in carry over surplus that was unbudgeted,” he said.

The Department of Local Government had recommended a compensating rate of 9.5 cents for real property, which would generate the same amount of revenue as last year, or 9.8 cents, which would generate a 4 percent increase in revenue. A 4 percent increase is the largest which can be approved without being subject to a recall vote.

Earlier in the meeting, the magistrates herd a number of complaints from neighbors of Stuff Recycling about the company’s zoning change request. The company wants to purchase about 12.5 acres on Clintonville Road for storage. The matter is scheduled for a hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Clark County Courthouse.

Though the business is industrial, it was grandfathered into the current comprehensive plan with the property’s current zoning of B-3 business rather than industrial. The conditions, though, specify that the business not expand operations beyond its footprint at the time.

Residents have complained the business has grown and generates a lot of noise and dust. There was also a major fire at Stuff in June, which took firefighters three days to extinguish.

“It’s an eyesore. It’s a public health hazard,” said resident Gail Maxam. “They never should have been grandfathered in.

“There was no sign or recycling at Stuff when I moved here in 2004. It was a store. Now there’s noise. There’s dust.”

In other action, the fiscal court:

— tabled the first reading of an ordinance to amend the county fireworks ordinance.

— tabled an order to move Perri Wilson from part-time to full-time employment for CSEPP.

— approved bids to replace bridges on Cabin Creek and Old Ruckerville roads of $66,900 and $61,900, respectively, from the Walker Company.

— approved the first reading of an amended ordinance to allow small wineries to sell alcohol on Sundays.

— approved the second reading of an ordinance to authorize Clark Count educational development revenue bonds for The Lexington School.

— approved a credit card application for the Clark County Detention Center.

— approved the hiring of Alicia Price as a part-time administrative assistant for the judge-executive’s office.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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