Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock made an announcement at Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting — the tax rates are set and there are no increases in the immediate future.
“We haven’t since I’ve been the judge here — raised the taxes any,” Brock said. “I hope, and we are not going to today, we’re not going to raise your property taxes again.”
Brock pointed out that tax rates around Bell County were on the rise, some more than others.
“But if you are paying attention to our neighbors, to this region, you realize that things are not getting better across the board in Appalachia and in southeastern Kentucky,” continued Brock. “Our neighbors are having to raise taxes, some substantially raise taxes, not just small increment raises.”
The judge said he hoped to not have to ever raise taxes while he was in office but he was compelled to warn that might not be the case.
“I hope to be able to sit here as long as you allow me to be your judge and say to you that we’ve never raised your taxes but I tell you today honestly, humbly and sternly, that if things don’t change, it won’t be something that’s a choice for us,” said Brock. “It won’t be a philosophical opinion about taxes, it will come down to a decision that will have to be made.”
Do you want to maintain the level of service in local government that you have now? If the answer to that is yes then it may come that we have to make a tough decision and do something that we may not necessarily or particular
Brock says the fiscal court has used foresight to prevent tax rate increases thus far and continues to look
“We’ve been prudent, we’ve been careful and I think the members of the court for doing that with me,” said Brock.
The tax rates for real property were set at 11.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, personal property rates were set at 14.9 cents per $100 of assessed value, motor vehicle and watercraft rates were set at 14.9 cents per $100 of assessed value and forest fire protection per KRS 149.540 were set at .02 cents per acre.
The Bell County Library Acting Director Michelle Lawson presented the library’s tax rates to the court, announcing that those rates too will remain the same, despite a recommended compensated tax rate. The real property tax rate was set at 8.6 cents, personal property at 10.19, and merchant inventory, watercraft and motor vehicle, air craft, and in-transit rates set at 4.54.
Brock explained that even though the rates were the same, the county would lose approximately $62,000 by keeping all of the rates the same. Brock also pointed out the library could increase their rates and the fiscal court could not control that.
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