For the second time in the past four years, Radcliff plans to reduce property tax rates.
The revised rate of 15.4 cents per $100 of assessed property is down a half-penny from the city’s 2019 property tax rate. On a home valued at $150,000, the savings amounts to $7.50.
The reduction outlined at Tuesday’s Radcliff City Council rolls back the property tax to a rate last used in 2009.
Referring to tight budgets related to loss of payroll tax income and sharply increased employee pension obligations, Mayor J.J. Duvall said city leaders are pleased to reduce tax rates.
“I think in all, considering where we’re at and what we’ve been through, to have this right back to where 2009 was, is not bad,” he said.
City government also reduced its tax rate from 16 cents to 15.9 cents in 2018. In the last 35 years, the rate has been 17.5 cents or less, according to historic data prepared for council members.
A memo prepared by Chief Financial Officer Chance Fox for the mayor and council said property assessments in the city have increased by more than $38.25 million, which allows the rate to be reduce and still provide roughly the same revenue. The state refers to that figure as the compensating rate.
Governmental entities are limited by state law of increasing tax revenues in excess of 4 percent without being subject to a voter referendum regarding the rate. The 4 percent revenue increase would have put the tax rate at 16 cents per $100, according to Fox’s memo.
The tax ordinance also adopts the compensating rate of 18.4 cents per $100 on personal property; 19.9 cents on private vehicles and watercraft and a bank deposit tax of 0.025 cents.
Second reading and a vote by the council on the tax ordinance will be conducted at special meeting in order to meet deadlines for printing and distribution of tax bills. The meeting date and time have not been determined. Duvall said he hopes to find a time the council can meet next week.
The Hardin County library board’s closure of its north branch in Radcliff was discussed during the public comment session of the meeting.
Maureen McQuade said library services were diminished since the COVID-19 pandemic in March and the branch never fully reopened. Its last day of operation was Tuesday.
McQuade said it was “a shame” and described a sense of loss while seeing computers being dismantled and prepared to be removed.
Having previously lost access to driver’s license renewals and vehicle registration in unrelated governmental cutbacks, Duvall said Radcliff residents feel a degree of mounting frustration that is understandable.
None of the decisions were made by city government and Duvall said the library board provided no opportunity for input and made no effort to consult local leaders about its plans.