Property value down, tax rates up in Clarkson

By Brittany Wise -

Thanks to a significant drop in the city’s assessed tangible property value, the city of Clarkson will need to increase tax rates on real estate and tangible property this year to make ends meet.

City Clerk Alicia Hayes reported to the council during Monday’s meeting that the Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) has reported $1.89 million less in tangible property value within the city this year. The drop represents a nearly 20 percent decrease in total tangible property value, from which the city receives taxes.

Each year, the city council has the option of setting the coming year’s tax rates at a number which would bring in the same amount of revenue (compensating rate) or a four percent increase in revenue. Thanks to the value drop this year, Hayes explained, “It doesn’t matter which you chose, the [tax] rates are going to be higher.”

City Commissioner Bob Vincent said, “It kills my soul to have to raise taxes, but since we have to, I think we need to go with the four percent increase.”

Vincent noted that the rate increase is still “not extreme,” and said, “Clarkson is still the cheapest in western Kentucky, and almost the cheapest in the state.”

The choice to take the rate which will produce a four percent revenue increase was unanimous, though Commissioner Keith Higdon was absent from the meeting.

A second hearing at a later date will cement the plan to up rates this year. Real estate rates are set to be increased to 8.4 cents per $100 of assessed value, while tangible property rates are set to be increased to 9.64 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Vehicle and watercraft rates will remain the same as last year at 10 cents per $100 of assessed value.

In other city news:

– Mayor Bonnie Henderson has been working with representatives from Lincoln Trail and Rural Water to find funding for improvements at the city’s water treatment plant.

Henderson said that there have been many upgrades already made or currently in progress at the plant, and these improvements “look good,” but more will be needed in the near future to keep up with required regulations.

While the additional improvements are not needed immediately, she said, the city is actively seeking funds because they expect them to be required very soon.

– Following a great turnout for the recent local weather-spotting class, Commissioner Scotty Gore said he hopes to work with UK Extension Agent Natalie Taul to host another weather-related class in the city soon.

– With Red Ribbon Week on the horizon, Clarkson’s Chief of Police Buck Meredith is working to put together a drug prevention class for the community which would cover topics such as what to look for and when to report suspected drug activity to authorities.

Meredith said he is asked these questions by the public, and hopes that there is enough public interest in a class to host one soon.

By Brittany Wise

Reach Brittany Wise at 270-259-9622 ext. 2014.

Reach Brittany Wise at 270-259-9622 ext. 2014.

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