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Fox Chase will look at tax rates for new year

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By Stephen Thomas

 FOX CHASE - Taxes for Fox Chase residents will remain the same for another year.

The council unanimously approved three tax rate ordinances at their March business meeting, maintaining the same rates that have been set for the past few years.

The real property ad valorem tax rate remains at 13.88 cents per $100 of real property value.

City attorney Mark Edison informed the council that decreases in taxable property, including a decrease due to Homestead exemptions, would lead to  a slight decrease in taxable income for the year.

A compensating tax rate, allowing the city to bring in the same income as last year, would need to increased. The highest rate allowed without a public hearing was 14.137 cents, according to Edison.

A rate tallow a four percent increase, meaning no public herring would be necessary by law, was set at 14.7 cents. The maximum increased rate was set at 16.48 cents.

Council member Mike Higgins said the situation was similar to last year, where the income would only decrease slightly.

The council felt the same about the personal property tax rate, leaving the rate at 17.45 cents.

A public utilities rate, which is required to be set at the same rate as the personal property, also remained at 17.45 cents.

In other business:

- The council unanimously approved a new yard sign regulation ordinance.

The ordinance requires signs to be placed no more than three days prior to an event and removed within one day of an event.

Only one "for sale" sign is allowed per property, two for a corner property. For sale signs must be removed within 10 days of a sale or lease.

A 10-foot minimum requirement from the street is placed on signs up to 16 square feet in size. Larger signs up to 32 square feet are required to remain further away. Distance requirements were included to avoid impeding drivers' views.

Residents will receive a written warning for a first offense. From there, a fine of $10 for a second offense and $50 for a third offense will be issued.

Election signs are not included in the sign limits per freedom of speech. However, they can not be placed more than 30 days prior to an election.

- With mayor Bill Broughton absent, the council tabled approval of the February meeting minutes.

Council member David Selby requested a repeal of the January meeting minutes, wanting to change the wording of one of his comments pertaining to snow removal conversation.

Selby requested the change of the word "contract" to "verbal agreement" in his recorded statement.

Edison said he was unsure that such a change could be made. However, council members cited a procedure in the "Robert's Rules of Order" book.

The issue was tabled for the next meeting. Edison said he would research the issue in that time.

- Edison presented a request from the Bullitt County Planning and Zoning Commission regarding new definitions for buildings.

According to Edison, the current definition did not include structures such as carports or portable buildings including wood or metal sheds.

Edison said the definition change including such structures would result in more taxable fees.

He said the city was not required to have the same regulations as the county.

With no time limit set, council members agreed to table any further action.

- Edison informed the council that the state encouraged cities to review ordinances every five years for relevance.

He said ordinances such as budget and tax rate ordinances would not be affected because they are annually set. Ordinances such as noise control, animal control or speeding would need to be reviewed.

- The next meeting of the Fox Chase City Council takes place Tuesday, Apr. 8, 7 p.m., in the Larry Belcher Meeting Room at Jewish Hospital Medical Center South. The public is invited to attend.