Harrodsburg City Commission OKs Tax Increase

Public Hearing On New Tax Rate On Sept. 12

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

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The Harrodsburg City Commission has agreed to raise property taxes. The commission voted Monday night to increase the tax rate to 81.2 cents per $100 in assessed value. The new rate will generate an estimated $388,000 for the city, over $70,000 more than the compensating rate of 66.4 cents per $100, according to City Treasurer Shavonna Huffman.

For a home valued at $100,000, the tax bill under the new rate would be $81.20, according to figures provided by Huffman.

Last year, the city’s rate for property tax was 66.8 cents per $100 in assessed value. However, Mayor Art Freeman said it became clear that the city could not take the compensating rate—which is calculated to generate the same income as the year before—for a second year in a row.

“As we went through this budget we realized there was no way we could operate without going to the four-percent,” Mayor Freeman said. The city will have to hold a public hearing within the next two weeks. Tax bills will be fixed next month, Freeman said.

Commissioner Charlie Mattingly said he did not want to vote for a tax increase.

“I’d really hate to raise taxes on the public,” Mattingly said.

However, Freeman said if they did not take the four-percent increase, they would need to cut $70,000 from the city’s budget.

Commissioner Jack Coleman moved to accept the new rate. Coleman said as assessments go up, the rate goes down. By not taking the four-percent, he argued the city would be charging current residents more than future residents, who would benefit from the city’s growth.

“We’re taking money from the current citizen,” Coleman said. “Because of the growth and the increased need for services based on the growth, we need to go with the revenue.”

Commissioner Scott Moseley stressed that the new rate was not a four-percent increase in a homeowner’s tax bill, but a four-percent increase in city revenues.

“We’re not raising taxes, we’re raising revenue,” Moseley said. He said the rate is based on current assessments and the increase could be reevaluated later. If assessments go up, the rate will drop.

Mayor Freeman agreed.

“If the total assessment for the city goes up, the rates would have to go down,” the mayor said.

Under state law, the city commission has to hold a public hearing, which has to be publicly advertised twice. A tentative date for the hearing has been set for Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Harrodsburg City Commission will be on Monday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held at Harrodsburg City Hall (208 South Main Street).

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