Harlan City Council addresses tax rates

Published 2:46 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

During a recent meeting, the Harlan City Council performed the first reading of the city’s property tax ordinance for the upcoming fiscal year, leaving the rate for real property unchanged and slightly dropping the rate for tangible property.

Mayor Joe Meadors brought the topic up to the City Council.

Meadors pointed out it is not necessary at this time to increase the real property or tangible property tax rates to maintain the city’s tax revenue.

“I personally think if we can bring in a little bit more money at the same tax rate, we ought to try to leave it the same,” said council member Jeff Phillips.

Meadors mentioned that the city’s personal property assessment decreased a few years ago, leading to higher tax rates.

“That’s one of the reasons our tax rate is so high. To maintain the same amount of tax revenue, we had to up it,” Meadors said. “I think long term, the goal ought to be to lower that a little bit each year until we get it back down to where the real property rate is; this year (2022), the rate was .46 cents (per $100 of assessed value) for real property, .49 cents (per $100 of assessed value) for personal property and .32 cents (per $100 of assessed value) for motor vehicle and watercraft. If you keep those same three rates, we’ll bring in about $20,000 more, but I can tell you its getting eaten up every day. I’d like to think we’re going to see some slowing of inflation, but everything we buy, it seems like it’s sky high.”

Meadors told the council the city is in a good position this year due to increased assessments in all areas, including real property, tangible property, and motor vehicles.

Following some further discussion, the council approved the first reading of a motion setting the city’s tax rate for real property at .46 cents per $100 of assessed value, tangible property at .4879 cents per $100 of assessed value, and .32 cents per $100 of assessed value for motor vehicle and watercraft.

In other business the City Council…

• Passed a motion declaring a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria as salvage;

• The council accepted the minutes of the previous meeting.