Shep. drops property tax, revenue will remain same

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE -- Owners of real estate in the city of Shepherdsville may not receive a reduction in sewer rates or in the percentage of their occupational tax.

However, they will see a reduction in their real property taxes.

Without the city taking any hit on the revenue side, the Shepherdsville town board has voted to reduce its real property tax rate.

At a 9 p.m. meeting, required to meet deadlines to have the tax rates included on the county tax bills, the council voted 5-0 to lower the percentage.

Real property will now be taxed at a rate of 14.1 cents per $100 of assessed property.

If you have a $100,000 home, the annual city tax bill would be $141.

Last year, that same $100,000 home would have cost you $148.

Rates on personal property and public utilities remained the same at 14.8 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Anyone paying their real property taxes by Nov. 1 would receive a 2 percent discount.

City clerk Tammy Richmond said that despite the lowering of the rate, Shepherdsville would generate the same amount of revenue.

Despite the unanimous vote, with councilman Bernie Brown not present, there was some discussion.

Councilmembers Faith Portman and Clinton Kline were interested in seeing sewer rates decrease.

Kline called the reduction in property taxes a good gesture but he felt the sewer rates, which were increased over 60 percent two years ago due to revenue shortfalls, should be addressed.

Portman said the slight reduction in property taxes would not be a major impact when considering the high sewer rates.

She felt the city was in a position to be able to lower those utility rates.

Mayor Scott Ellis said he didn't disagree; however, the city needs to look at its current financing on the sewer plant before doing anything.

Councilmember Dana James said that if the city will not lose revenue, it made sense to lower the property tax rate.

Councilman Gloria Taft said the city must continue to collect the occupational tax revenue.

And councilman Jose Cubero said he wasn't sure whether it would be a major impact to lower the rates but it would be a good gesture.

With the continued growth in the city, Cubero said the revenue should also grow.

The city's tax bills will be part of the county tax bills, which are being prepared for sending out to property owners.

By virtue of the city's financial straits several years ago, the sheriff's department was contracted with collecting the tax dollars and then turning it over to the city.