Clarkson Commissioners agreed on Monday evening to schedule a public hearing next month before setting their real estate and tangible property tax rates for the upcoming year.
Last year’s real estate tax rates were set at 7.920 per $100 of assessed value, while tangible property rates were 9.640 per $100 of assessed value.
Monday night’s discussion leaned toward keeping tangible rates steady, while slightly increasing real estate rates according to state recommendations.
Kentucky’s Department for Local Government provides a spreadsheet for cities to calculate the suggested rate range based on the city’s property values as determined by the PVA office and the funds generated for the city from the previous year’s taxes.
According to these recommendations, in order for Clarkson to generate the same amount of income as last year, they would need to bump up real estate tax rates by 0.02 per $100 of assessed value. For a home valued at $50,000, this increase would equate to a $1 increase in annual taxes.
At the other end of the suggested spectrum, the city has the option of raising the rate to 8.250, which would be the equivalent of a $16.50 annual increase for a home valued at $50,000. If the commission considered this option, it would bring the city a 4 percent increase in their revenue from real estate taxes.
Since this past year brought a significant increase in the reported value of tangible property, the state suggestions include the recommendation to lower the tangible property tax rate.
In looking over the reported tangible property values over the past several years, however, commissioners noted a significant up and down trend, and some felt that they could not count on next year’s appraised amounts remaining stable.
Commissioner Bob Vincent explained that if the rates were lowered, and the reported value then went down, “then we’re in trouble.”
The concensus was that the tangible rate should remain the same as last year. This way if value remains steady, the city increases revenue, but if the valuation takes a downward turn, the hit to Clarkson’s funds will not be as dramatic.
Vincent, who remarked that the city has “either decreased or kept [rates] the same for the last four or five years,” felt that this could be a way to “leave rates the same and lower deficits without charging more.”
Kay Gibson commented, “if we’re not operating to the good, we need to look at the least painful way of fixing that.” Gibson felt that this could be accomplished by keeping tangible tax rates at 9.640.
Vincent called the decision “a good thing for everybody.”
Public comment on the issue is welcome at the next meeting on Monday, October 8 at 6 p.m.
In other Clarkson news:
- Mayor Bonnie Henderson reported that the city’s Honeyfest preparations are coming together on schedule and as planned.
Each year, the city provides road closure permits, lights, and portable toilets in addition to handling traffic barrier barrels and cones and arranging for the Detention Center work crew to handle clean up, mowing and garbage pickup.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” Henderson said of the county jail crew. Gratitude was also expressed to the Cattlemen’s group for their clean-up efforts as well.
This year, the city is purchasing new barrels for the event, as the previous ones were destroyed in a fire. The cost for these, which can later be used on roadway work, will ring in at approximately $1,200.
City Clerk Alicia Hayes estimates that the city will spend around $6,000 on this year’s Honeyfest events.
- Commissioners are excited to offer a Halloween Trunk of Treat safe spot this year in the city hall parking lot. Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to stop by the worry-free location for Halloween goodies. A date and time for the event will be set at the October 8 city meeting.