Wednesday, August 22, 2001

No property-tax hike for 24th year


Covington again avoids increase

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        COVINGTON — The city's streak of no property-tax increases lives for another year.

        Finance Director Bob Due said Tuesday that Covington will keep its present property-tax rate of $3.23 per $1,000 of assessed value. That's the same rate as last year, and it's the 24th consecutive year the rate has either stayed the same or gone down.

        “I think there's a commitment to maintain at a minimum (the same rate),” Mr. Due said.

        Mr. Due said the rate is based on total property valuation of $82.4 million. Which means, the owner of a $100,000 house will still pay $323 a year in property taxes.

        But Covington's rate is not Northern Kentucky's lowest.

        Florence residents pay $2.39 per $1,000 assessed value in city property tax plus another $1 per $1,000 in Boone County taxes. In Newport, the rate is $2.86 per $1,000.

        Covington Mayor Butch Callery said his city's rate is nonetheless a lot cheaper than 1978, when it was $7.80 per $1,000.

        “That's pretty significant,” Mr. Callery said.

        The city last lowered its property taxes in 1999.

        Mr. Callery said the city couldn't do it this fiscal year (which started July 1) because of contract negotiations with the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union and several road projects. The current AFSCME contract expired last December.

        “We're going to examine the property tax and insurance-premium tax,” Mr. Callery said. “That's a priority next fiscal year.”

        In other action, commissioners heard a presentation from Police Lt. Danny Miles concerning a state grant to install laptop computers in cruisers.
       

Data at scene

        The mobile data terminals let officers perform tasks such as license plate checks and obtain information from state and federal crime computer databases at the scene of a stop instead of tying up dispatchers.

        Lt. Miles said the state grant amounts to $121,564, with the city kicking in another $13,507. He said not all cruisers would be equipped at first, and he did not know when the computers would be installed because of variations in price per unit.

        “If we can do 10 cars (with the money), that would be wonderful,” Lt. Miles said.

       



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