Owensboro City Budget Passed, Several Tax Hikes

After years of spending millions, Owensboro city leaders finally call for a vote to pay the bill on the taxpayer's dime. 

The next city budget is passed along with several tax hikes. 

All of this comes as Owensboro faces a $42 million deficit over the next four years. 

"I hate it. I'm a conservative but we have to do it," Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson says. 

Months of debate, and 60 days to decide how to propose the Owensboro budget has left many shocked and uneasy. 

The budged includes increases in property, occupational, net profit and insurance premium taxes, and cuts in some areas. 

"We've got a lot of nice things there on the river, everybody loves it but at the same time you go through your reserves and you have to generate some revenue," Mayor Watson says. 

The decision, taking a toll on both residents and city officials making it one of the hardest votes some have had to make. 

City Commissioner Larry Conder says, "Those decisions we make that we believe are truly right doesn't affect just us it affects everyone no matter what. "

While not everyone agrees, Suzanne Guyer thinks it's important to let your voice be heard. 

"I think it's important that people have input in these and know what's going on and not just be shocked when they get their tax bills," Guyer says. 

Empty seats, as many say they think it was already a done deal and feel there was nothing they could say to change the final decision. 

"We just got to live with it until the end of the next election," Owensboro resident Andy Gamblin says. 

Guyer says, "I'm afraid that it is what it is right now."

The increases will go into effect July 1. 


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