City lowers tax rates; approves telecommunications franchise

·3 min read

Oct. 6—For the 15th consecutive year, city residents will see no increase in their taxes.

Don McFadden with the Laurel County Property Valuation Administration (PVA) addressed members of the London City Council at Monday evening's regular monthly meeting and told council members that real property value had increased within the city, thus allowing council members to lower tax rates if they so chose.

They did so choose, voting unanimously to lower the tax rates on motor vehicle/motorcraft, real property and personal property from last year's rate of .087 to .086.

"That's not a lot, but it's something. We've lowered or kept tax rates the same for the last 15 years," said Mayor Troy Rudder.

McFadden said the change is due to new construction — approximately $13 million more than last year.

"Last year's real estate was valued at $633 million. This year it is $659 million, with $13 million net in new construction," he explained. "With that, you can lower the rates."

Rudder then said the lowered tax rate would still keep the city's revenues within the 4% range, with council members voting to accept the .086 rate. That means city residents will pay .086 cents for $100 value on real, personal and motor vehicles for the upcoming year.

Council members then approved the first reading of the ordinance establishing those rates. The ordinance requires city residents to pay their taxes by Dec. 1, 2021. Those who pay before that time will receive a 2% discount. Those paying after Dec. 1 will add a 6% penalty to their totals.

Council members also accepted bids for a telecommunications franchise, with Open Fiber Kentucky being the sole bidder. Rudder did state, however, that this is a "non-exclusive" proposal and that other companies can also locate in the area. He said the request for bids originated from one business on Main Street, although Industrial/Economic Recruiter Paula Thompson said the availability of more technology and access to technology was a prime tool in her recruiting efforts to entice businesses to locate in London and Laurel County.

Also accepted was a sole proposal for an "official radio station" for the City of London. That proposal came from WANV Kool Gold 96.7, which will feature events taking place in the City of London. Rudder said he would be featured on the show once per week, telling council members, "And you'll be there on other days."

Other actions approved included the re-appointment of Bill Dezarn to the London Board of Zoning. In another action, City Tourism Director Chris Robinson asked for Main Street to be shut down for three upcoming events. Those were for Boo on Main on Saturday, Oct. 30. Boo on Main allows children (and adults) to tour the streets of downtown London and receive candy from local businesses. The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., with Robinson explaining that the time was set to allow children to participate in Trick-or-Treating that evening. Under a London City ordinance, whenever Halloween falls on Sunday as it does this year, Trick-or-Treating will be conducted on Saturday evening at the usual time of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Robinson also asked for Main Street to be closed on Friday, Dec. 3 for Christmas On Main festivities and on Friday, Dec. 31 for the downtown New Year's Eve party.

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