Vote on Proposed Property Tax Hike Expected

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A few months after tax increases to cover the city of Owensboro’s multi-million dollar deficit took effect, another one could be on the way for city residents.

City commissioners had a first reading on a proposed hike in the property tax rate.

City officials say the proposed increase on property taxes will be the first one they’ve had to do in nearly a decade. If it passes, city residents could be expected to pay a few more dollars a year.

“We do have to pay,” says Bill Desormeaux of Owensboro

If the property tax rate goes up, home owners will have to pay a little more.

“This will be first one the city looks to take in a long time,” says Angela Hamric, Owenbsoro City Finance Director.

Under this plan rates go from just under 26 cents for every $100 of assessed value, to 26.2 cents per $100. Hamric says it would add up to just under $3 a year for a home worth nearly $110,000, or nearly 25 cents per month more. Three-quarters of the proposed hike, covered by higher property values.

“It’s not easy, but it is what it is,” says John Martin of Owensboro.

The increase comes months after other higher rates in occupational and other taxes went up as part of the budget for this fiscal year to make up for the shortfall, once estimated to be as high as $42 million over the next four years.

“It’s a minimal increase. Assessments went up quite a bit. The rate is minimal. We’ve not had an increase in 8 years,” Hamric says. She adds it would bring in an additional $314,000 in tax revenue. Some residents say they don’t like it, but understand why its needed.

“I believe we’ve spent quite a bit of money, and we do have somehow cover the bill, so it may be a good thing,” says Desormeaux.

“It could depend on who in the city is paying, how many in the city are paying. It’s just a matter of how they manage the money,” adds Martin.

City commissioners are expected to vote on the proposed increase at their next meeting on October 3rd.

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