The Leitchfield City Council voted Monday to raise the city’s property tax rates for 2021.

During Monday’s regular city council meeting, Leitchfield Finance Officer Sabrina Whitaker presented the options for this year’s tax rates, based on the city’s 2021 assessed property values.

According to Whitaker, real property values increased in Leitchfield from $277,899,875 in 2020 to $282,175,131 in 2021, and personal property values decreased from $72,917,786 in 2020 to $61,801,508 in 2021.

Last year’s real property tax rate was 14.5 cents per $100 valuation on all lands and improvements, while the 2020 personal property tax rate was 19.92 cents per $100 valuation of personal property.

Given Leitchfield’s reduction in personal property values over the past year, the two new options for this year’s tax rates showed rate increases for both real and personal property.

The 2021 compensating real property rate is 16 cents per $100 valuation, and the 2021 compensating personal property rate is 26.33 cents per $100 valuation; while a 4% increase in revenue raises the real property rate to 16.60 cents per $100 valuation and the personal property rate to 27.32 cents per $100 valuation.

The council also had the option to keep the tax rates the same, but officials expressed concern that doing so could make the city fall behind in having sufficient revenue to operate.

Mayor Rick Embry noted that the average real property tax rate in Kentucky is 22.45 cents, making Leitchfield’s “well below” that, even with local revenues declining since the year 2010.

With that in mind, Embry and Whitaker both recommended the city council take, at least, the compensating rate.

On their recommendations, the city council then passed a motion to take the compensating property tax rates for 2021 on a four-to-two vote. City councilmembers Raymond “Tooty” Cottrell, Margie Decker, Billy Dallas, and Jessica Embry voted in favor of the motion, while Clayton Miller and Carl “Moon” Smith voted against it.

Following the motion to take the compensating rate, the city council then heard the first reading of the city of Leitchfield’s 2021 property tax ordinance. After the second reading is held and approved, the tax rates will be formally adopted for the year.

In other business:

  • Mayor Embry reported that the three members of the Leitchfield Code Enforcement Board will be Danny Joe Allen, Gay Fulkerson, and Stacey Whitley, with Ricky Minton serving as an alternate.
  • Leitchfield Parks and Recreation Director Tammee Saltsman reported that, due to so few people signing up, there will be no fall kickball league this season.

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