Villa Hills to Seek Property Tax Increase, Continue Road Improvements
Villa Hills Mayor Butch Callery rolled out the city’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year at last week’s council meeting.
While Callery reported that many of the city's departments are set to come in under budget for the year, there is a 5.8 percent increase to next year’s budget's expenditures, mainly caused by road construction set to take place in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Villa Hills voters approved a road tax in 2015 that will bring in an additional $708,000, all to be used for road upgrades and repairs. The city will also be matching a grant for $315,000 to complete work on Buttermilk Pike. That city's matching contribution is set aside in the city's reserves for use in the 2018-19 fiscal year when the project is expected to be completed.
In addition, the city will be creating a Road Fund, funded by the road tax and all money in the fund will be used to complete the 10-year road plan.
Residents of Villa Hills will also see a 4 percent increase to property taxes if the budget proposal is approved.
According to Callery, property taxes cover nearly half of the city’s budget. Over the last 15 years, property taxes have only been raised twice for a total of 6 percent.
Callery said that the need for such an increase is due to inflation and that this new increase would allow the city to continue meeting the needs and services available to the community.
The Mayor said he would like to create a Stabilization Fund for the city, which would be equal to 25 percent of the city’s general fund. The purpose of the fund would be to “ensure city services continue running even during financial hardships or unexpected emergencies.”
While the fund can’t be set up this year, Callery hopes it will be a part of the 2018-19 budget.
It was announced that the Fire Department is now using a program that allows paramedics to take pictures of patients' driver’s licenses that are forwarded to the hospital before the ambulance arrives. It is used in extreme emergency situations, such as heart attacks, strokes, and overdoses. It allows for patients to be added to the system faster and receive care as soon as they arrive.
Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor
Photo: Villa Hills sign (file)