City tax rate ticks higher

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Decreasing property values blamed

By Shannon Brock

Lawrenceburg homeowners received a 1.2 percent property tax rate increase Monday evening after the city council voted to accept what the state terms as a “compensating” tax rate.

The ordinance establishing the tax rate was approved unanimously on first reading, and the council is expected to vote on the ordinance on second reading at its next monthly meeting.

Council members approved an increase from $1.65 per $1,000 of assessed value to $1.67. That means that a home assessed at $100,000 paid $165 last year, but will pay $167 this year when tax bills are sent out this fall.

Accepting the compensating rate means the city will receive roughly the same amount of tax revenue as it did last year.

The tax rate increases, however, because property values decreased from 2009 to 2010.

“The tax [rate] goes up because the property goes down,” said Sandy Goodlett, the council member who chairs the city’s finance committee.

State statutes forbid the city council from voting for a rate that would amount in lower tax revenue, so the increase is the least amount of rate increase council members could have approved.

In other business, during his monthly report to the council, Lawrenceburg Police Chief Tommy Burris commended his staff for receiving an excellent audit review from the Law Information Network of Kentucky. Todd Sparrow and his staff received a zero percent serious error rate, when the state serious error rate is at 1.48 percent, Burris said.

Burris presented a letter to the council from Lt. Col. Brad Bates that said the agency “is in compliance with all LINK-NCIC guidelines.”

“I’m proud of the way they do business,” councilman Larry Giles said.

Burris’s nephews attended Monday’s meeting, where they were recognized by State Rep. Kent Stevens.

Both Sang Won Seo, 16, and Hee Sang Lee, 15, are South Korean citizens who attend the Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg. Both young men plan to attend college in the United States and were recognized for their commitment to further their education.

In his monthly report, Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Bobby Hume complimented the citizens of Lawrenceburg.

“I want to thank the citizens for being fire safe in these hot temperatures,” Hume said.

Hume said the fire department is in the process of getting ready for its new truck, which should arrive next month.

The city also voted to declare several items as surplus property, including a 1975 model fire truck, which will be replaced by the new one.

E-mail Shannon Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.