Independence Poised to Lower Tax Rate and Offer One-Time Special Reduction
Independence city council is set to make its property tax rate lower for the year ahead.
In a special meeting last Monday, Mayor Chris Reinersman proposed the reduction to $0.244 per $100 of assessed value, down from the previous rate of $0.271.
Reinersman cited the city's reserves and budget.
The rate will be determined at the September 13 meeting.
The personal property rate is proposed to be $0.595 per $100 of assessed value. These are lower than the compensating rates, which typically guarantee that a government brings in at least the same amount of revenue as the previous year, even if the actual rate is not raised.
"This is not an opportunity I've had before," Reinersman said, referring to the reduction of the tax rate.
The city is also using federal coronavirus relief funds to offer a one-time 10 percent reduction in property tax payments.
Councilman Greg Waite suggested that the reduction could be more than 10 percent if the taxes are paid early, as there is a 2 to 3 percent reduction built into the tax bill for early payment. That is also expected to be made official on September 13.
The third item on the agenda was a resolution to approve and accept a federal grant in the amount of $209,367 from the federal CARES act. Council approved the resolution.
In other busienss, City Administrator Chris Moriconi told council that the city is conducting preliminary estimates on terracing the amphitheater, looking toward the money in the federal American Rescue Plan Act grant given to the city.
He said the city would like to have steps on each side and steps going down the center, along with retaining walls. He wants it to be a green design, and have the whole thing handicap-accessible.
Moriconi said that in a perfect world they would like to have it done in time for concerts next summer.
Mayor Reinersman agreed that it will be an asset to have it done. He said the amphitheater is quite a resource, but one of the challenges has always been the hill.
Reinersman also heralded Independence as the fastest-growing city in Kenton County, per recently released U.S. Census data. The city now has 28,676 residents. It is the second-largest city in the county, behind Covington, and the third largest in Northern Kentucky, behind Covington and Florence.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor