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PDS Lowers Tax Rate to Lowest Since 2004-05

Planning & Development Services of Kenton County (PDS) lowered its county-wide property tax rate to its lowest level in nearly two decades, and cut nearly 20 percent from its annual budget.

The PDS Management Board last week approved reducing the real property tax rate from 0.0268 to 0.0225 per $100 valuation for the 2021-22 fiscal year, the lowest tax rate the agency has had since 2004-05. 

PDS leaders say an agency-wide reorganization that included the hiring of new executive director, Sharmili Reddy, the reduction of 10 positions and the implementation of an efficiency plan resulted in not only a tax rate cut but also an estimated $1 million reduction in the PDS annual $5.3 million budget. 

"We set out to reorganize an agency that provides valuable and essential services to Kenton County," said Independence Mayor Chris Reinersman, vice chairman of the PDS Management Board. "Our primary focus was to create a more efficient organization that was equitable for all taxpayers of Kenton County, while maintaining a high level of service. I look at the $1 million dollar budget reduction and the resulting decrease in the tax rate as the culmination of those efforts." 

PDS Management Board Chairman Joe Nienaber, a Kenton County Commissioner, praised the PDS staff for executing the reorganization plan.  

"The staff has been absolutely great during all the changes, which are obviously delivering results," Nienaber said. "And the best part is even with the changes and the reduction in staff, we haven't lost anything." 

In addition to Mayor Reinersman and Commissioner Nienaber, members of the PDS Management Board are: 

  • Covington City Commissioner Michelle Williams 
  • Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier 
  • Fort Mitchell Councilman Greg Pohlgeers 
  • Erlanger Councilman Gary Meyer 
  • Fort Wright Councilman Bernie Wessels 

Mayor Reinersman also lauded the hiring of Sharmili Reddy as executive director of PDS. Reddy was previously the city administrator of Fort Mitchell but also had worked at PDS prior to joining the city. 

"One of the best moves we made was to select Sharmili Reddy to lead PDS," he said. "Not only does she have a solid planning background, but she is also an experienced, effective administrator. In addition, Sharmili has long demonstrated an uncanny ability to work with parties of differing views to solve problems to the satisfaction of all." 

-Staff report

Photo: Sharmili Reddy