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Florence City Council votes, on first reading, to keep the property tax rate flat; personal property rate down

By Patricia A. Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

The Florence City Council set the tax rate for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2024. It keeps the city’s property rate the same as last year and was the first reading of the ordinance.

Chief Finance Officer Linda Chapman presented the tax rates at the last council meeting for consideration, and a public hearing was held last Tuesday for any residents who wanted to provide feedback for the rates.

Councilmember Lesley Chambers went on record protesting the time of the public hearing.

Florence City Council (Photo by Patricia Scheyer/NKyTribune)

“I just want to say that the public hearing regarding the rate was at 4 p.m. last Tuesday and I think that that was a very irresponsible time to have a meeting that was open to the public,” she stated, “considering families are getting off work, and picking up kids from school. I hope that any future hearings that we have can be held at a different time.”

Mayor Julie Metzger Aubuchon explained that they didn’t have a lot of options of when to hold the public hearing, because there is a protocol they have to follow, and she didn’t want to authorize it for the day before the Labor Day weekend. She also said the hearing was advertised twice in the paper and it was on the website.

Councilmember Pat Wingo interjected that anyone could have let the city know their feelings before the public hearing, and there is a window of opportunity before the hearing where people can input any protests or statements. There was nothing, in this case.

“Our property tax is unchanged,” Wingo said. “You are able to comment on the taxes if you aren’t able to attend and that is read into the record.”

The property tax rate will be set at $1.81 per $1000 of assessed value, which is unchanged for the last three years, and is the lowest rate in ten years.

Personal property, or tangible property, will have the rate set at $2 per $1000 of assessed value. That is actually down from $3.13 last year.

According to CFO Chapman’s estimates, the property tax rate should yield a revenue of $5,856,943, and the personal tax rate should produce $1,585,188, for a total of $7,442,131.

She also said that according to KRS 78.530 (c) (3), the city of Florence is allowed to levy a special tax for the hazardous employees’ retirement service costs. The rate of $1.52 per $1000 will generate $6,123,281 in revenue which will cover the amount of costs budgeted in fiscal year 2023-2024. In accordance with an ordinance, the rate may not generate more revenues than the city needs to pay the current service costs.

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