Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

December 12, 2012

Olive Hill property taxes increase due to calculation error

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

Dec. 12, 2012 — Olive Hill City Council met in special session on Monday and Tuesday nights to make emergency changes to the property tax rates for the upcoming year.

According to Mayor Kenny Fankell, these meetings were necessary because the original compensating rate, 19.41 cents per $100 valuation, was erroneously calculated.

“When they ran the numbers at City Hall, we found out that we weren’t going to bring in the same amount of revenue as last year which is required by state law,” Fankell said.

The law in question is subsection 6 of KRS 132.010, which states, “in no event shall the compensating tax rate be a rate which […] produces an amount of revenue less than was produced in the preceding year.”

According to City Clerk Cheri James, the error occurred because of a delay in receiving documentation from the county’s property valuation administrator, which first had to be sent to state offices in Frankfort and then forwarded to City Hall.

That documentation apparently contained new information regarding individuals claiming homestead exemptions, which limits (or in some cases eliminates) the amount of property taxes that elderly and disabled persons are required to pay on their property.

After receiving the new information, James recalculated the new property tax rate and determined that the city would need to charge a compensating rate of 22.87 cents per $100 valuation in order to bring in the same amount of revenue as last year.

Coincidentally, this is the exact rate that Olive Hill residents were charged last year.

Council adopted the new tax rate and expressed relief that the error was caught before bills were sent to property owners.

The next regular meeting of the Olive Hill City Council will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the senior citizens center.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.