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Berea going ahead with property tax increase

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 15:15:28-04

BEREA, Ky. (RICHMOND REGISTER) — Berea council members have passed an ordinance commonly knows as the ad valorem tax, which approved an increased rate of 10.5 cents on each $100 of assessed real and personal property in Berea, according to the Richmond Register.

Councilmember Jerry Little said that taxpayers would see an increase of $3 for every $100,000 for the city's property tax portion.

Little said the city needs to monitor its spending and try to save more money to dedicate funds towards storm water issues and street repairs, according to the Richmond Register. Little voted yest to raise the property taxes.

Councilmember Steve Caudill said that even though the increase is not ideal, the cost of maintaining the city is becoming more expensive, so the increase is needed.

"I encourage the council to pass this - I don't take that recommendation lightly - but it is the responsibility of all of us to make sure that our city remains solvent and continues to provide the same services that we expect as council members and that citizens also expect of the city," said Caudill.

The motion was approved with a vote of 6-2. Councilmembers Ronnie Terrill and David Rowlette are the two who voted against the tax.

"My concern is it's only $3, but what is going to happen with the county, the other taxing districts? Before you know it, you have added all of those things up to put a tremendous burden on people who have fixed incomes, and it is a concern," said Rowlette.

Rowlette went on to talk about his biggest concern. "My biggest concern is that the county chose to hold a public meeting at the Perkins Building [in Richmond], which caused some of us to make a tough decision. Do I avoid my responsibilities here, or do I go over there and voice my concerns? You see what I chose to do," said Rowlette.

Councilmember Cora Jane Wilson said that she did not take the increase lightly, but also did not want Berea to find itself in a similar situation as the county, according to the Richmond Register.

"I don't want Berea to get in the shape that the county is in. No taxes raised since 1966? That is over 50 years," said Wilson.