More good news for Radcliff residents was discussed Monday during the city council’s work session.
Not only has the council been discussing how to spend a $1.9 million surplus, the council also heard a recommendation to lower property tax rates.
Chief Financial Officer Chance Fox presented a draft ordinance to lower the city’s property rates.
According to Fox, the city saw a $34 million increase in assessed property over the $1.043 billion last year from a combination of new construction or increased assessed values.
“That is going to give us additional money this year above and beyond what we had last year just because the assessment, even though the rate is lower, the assessment will produce more revenue,” he said.
Using a standard formula, the suggested real property tax rate was calculated at .150% of $100.
“I’m pretty sure this is the lowest rate that’s ever been computed since we started,” Fox said.
According to a document prepared by Fox tracking tax rates annually starting in 1997, the .150 rate is the lowest. He was also able to find the highest recorded rate of .500 levied in 1965.
“In calculating this year’s rate, there was a fair amount of growth in assessed values, which actually drove down the tax rate,” he said.
The document shows a slight decline in rates in most years from 1997, when the rate was set at .175. It also shows a trend that councils have accepted the computed rate or lower since 2011.
The calculation also suggested a .174 personal property rate, down from .184 a year ago.
Like real property, Fox said personal property also saw an increase in assessment values, going from $52 million to $56.2 million.
Fox said council will need to hear a first reading of the ordinance Tuesday at its regularly scheduled meeting at city hall. Most likely a special meeting will be called to hear the second reading in order for tax bills to go out by the end of the month.
Residents who pay their bill by Nov. 1 receive a 2% discount, Fox said.
“We’re in a unique situation we haven’t been in in a long time with no debt, surplus money and a lower rate in our taxes,” Mayor J.J. Duvall said. “We’re in a good position to take care of things.”
The council also discussed the spending of $1.9 million in surplus money from last budget cycle.
As a continuance of discussions started last month, the council decided to proceed with the following projects immediately:
• Down payment for a firetruck $500,000
• Computer aided dispatch system $245,000
• Two jaws of life $70,000
• Turnout gear for firemen $18,000
• Blacktop for Shelton and Wilson roads $325,000
• Tractor $50,000
• Salt spreader $10,000
• Update of former chamber building $25,000
• Single slide at Colvin pool $30,000
• Playground at Duvall Ballpark $40,000
“Let’s get the ball rolling,” Duvall said about these projects. “We’re going to start working on those administratively to get those started.”
Other projects needing more research and cost analysis were prioritized by the council and remaining money will be allocated for each project in this order:
• Improvements to Colvin Community Center basement
• Reader board sign
• Fencing for fields at Duvall Ballpark
• Signage for Duvall Ballpark, Saunders Springs Nature Preserve and basins outdoor recreation areas
• City beautification
• Skate park
• Shelton Road land clearing for possible soccer practice fields
• Development of a dog park
• Workout stations located around basins outdoor recreation areas
Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1418 or email@example.com.