Lowered tax rate will have minor impact

Published 8:46 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

Editor’s note: In the article titled “Clark approves lower tax rate,” which ran in the Aug. 23 edition of The Sun, it was incorrectly stated the new lower rate would reduce the payment on a $100,000 home by $200 next year. In fact, the new rate would reduce the payment by $2.

The tax rates approved earlier this week by the Clark County Fiscal Court will have a minimal effect, both to taxpayers and the county.

Wednesday, the court approved the first reading of an ordinance to set the tax rates at 9.1 cents per $100 value for real property and 12.38 cents for personal property. Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham was prepared to recommend leaving the rate unchanged at 9.3 cents for real property and 12.34 cents for personal property.

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The difference for a $100,000 house will be $2, instead of the $200 originally reported. Branham said the difference in revenue would be about $43,000 for the year.

“It’s not much,” said Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos, who made the motion for the lower rate. “The key to it is it is a step in the right direction.”

Konstantopoulos said the county carried over nearly $1.8 million from the previous fiscal year so the loss in revenue was not significant. Property values have increased and the economy is stronger, he said, so similar revenue can be generated with a slightly lower rate.

“That was money within that budget,” he said. “If there’s a project that we need to do, we have adequate money to do things we need to do and provide the level of services we need to provide.

“There was no need to keep the tax rate the same and generate more revenue.”

Wednesday’s vote was unanimous, and Branham said he supported the lower tax rate as well.

“I’m proud we’ve not had to raise taxes,” Magistrate Sheila McCord said. “I think the compensating rate would have been OK, but we’re saving the taxpayers a few dollars.”

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.

The fiscal court will have to approve a second reading of the tax rate ordinance before it becomes official.

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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