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Erlanger Lowers Property Tax - but Not as Much as Some Wanted

An update on Wednesday, September 9, to our original story, which is published in full below:

Erlanger City Council voted Tuesday night to lower the city's property tax rate.

 The property tax rate was lowered to 0.301 per $100 of assessed value, a 2.2 percent reduction from last year's rate of 0.317. The tangible tax rate was also reduced from 0.554 to 0.400 per $100 of assessed value.

 Erlanger Mayor Jessica Fette said even with the tax cut, the city will exceed budgeted revenue projections.

 "Due to Erlanger's continued economic growth of both residential and commercial property, the successful reinvestment of city funds and the fiscal responsibility of city leaders, I am thrilled to announce that city council has approved a tax decrease," Mayor Fette said in a statement. "Determining the tax rates was a methodical and thorough process. It ensures that the city can operate effectively with no reduction in services while allowing our taxpayers to keep more of their own money."

Story originally published on Monday, September 8, 2020:

The original proposal to lower the City of Erlanger's property tax rate was defeated by a vote of council last Tuesday, but council ultimately agreed to a lower rate, albeit not as low as originally offered.

Mayor Jessica Fette said that she and City Administrator Matthew Kremer, along with finance director Kara Kramer concluded that the city could offer a rate of 0.3075 per $100 of assessed value, down from last year's rate of 0.317.

Councilwoman Corine Pitts said that while it would be nice to lower the tax rate for the city, she expressed concern about the economy and the pandemic's potential further impact on it. 

Councilman Gary Meyer noted that the city has $14 million in reserves and that it would be OK even if it stopped charging taxes for a full year.

Councilwoman Patty Suedkamp said that while people talk about the $14 million, the public works building is dealing with mold, and that the fire department is running out of space.

Mayor Fette countered that a city facility study is nearly complete and that the public works building is at the top of the list followed by the firehouse. 

Seven council members voted against the rate proposed by the mayor and the city administration. Instead, council approved a rate of 0.310 per $100, which is still lower than last year's rate. It is a 2.2 percent reduction of taxes.

The tangible tax rate saw a large reduction, from $0.554 to 0.400 per $100 of assessed value.

A second reading and vote on the tax rates is scheduled for a special meeting on Tuesday night.

Council also voted to hire Emi Randall as director of economic development, to replace David Hahn, who retires at the end of the month.

Randall is currently a director at Planning & Development Services of Kenton County. She will begin her new position in Erlanger on September 21.

Councilwoman Suedkamp asked for prayer for Councilwoman Vicki Kyle who had heart surgery and is recovering at home.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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