Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Lower tax rate won't bring down the bills



By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - A lower tax rate for residents may not mean a lower tax bill. That's because property in Florence was reassessed this year and most increased in value, said Florence Finance Director Linda Chapman.

The tax rate, which received preliminary approval at a special City Council meeting Tuesday, is $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. That's a 10-cent decrease from last year. The rate would mean a bill of $180 for the owner of a $100,000 home.

"Every four years the (Boone County) property valuator reassesses the property in the city," Chapman said. "This just happened to be our year."

State law says cities cannot receive more than a 4 percent gain from the prior year's property taxes without the tax being subject to a voter recall.

"The council decided with the higher property assessments, they wanted to lower the rate," said City Coordinator Jeff Koenig.

"I think the council realized the assessments were up this year," Koenig said. "And we are establishing the rate at $1.80 to try to help on the assessment issue. The city does not control the assessments done by a county office."

This year, Florence will reap $83,000 from new properties.

Earlier this month, Boone County left its tax rate unchanged at 95 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

While city property taxes are going down - and the county's are staying the same - residents will have a higher tax bill. Last week Boone County School district passed the nickel growth tax, which will raise annual taxes on a $100,000 home by $50.

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E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com




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