2011-09-22 / Front Page

Lexington City Council Votes NOT to Raise Taxes, After All

Despite the fact that the County recommended that the City of Lexington increase their tax rate from .4609 to .4689, the Lexington City Council voted last Wednesday, September 14, to leave the property tax rate unchanged.

When the recommendation was first discussed during the council’s August 30 meeting, they knew that an increase in the current rate would not cause the average homeowner to see an increase in their city tax bill, due to property values being lower this year than they were last year. However, the proposed increase would have allowed the city to collect the same revenue as last year. Since that may not be the case now, the city will have to work hard to provide the same level of city services with less money.

According to some members of the City Council, their decision to leave the rate where it is was one of economics. “With the economy being what it is and with people being out of work and hurting financially, we just couldn’t see putting another burden on them,” said council member Opal Jane Lewis.

In further action, the Council approved giving support to the upcoming Chocolate Lovers Festival as they have in past years. Certain street closings were approved and all other support activities, such as signage and power availability, were also approved. The Chocolate Lovers Festival will be held on Saturday, October 15.

A potential beautification project was presented by the local Garden Club. The Council agreed to the City’s participation pending approval from the EDC to pay for the materials.

The Council voted to include $500 as a contribution to the Children’s Advocacy Center in the 2011-2012 budget. The Council also voted to approve the 2011 Collection Contract with the Lee County Tax Office for collection of City Taxes.

After hearing from the City’s Accountant, Doug Thielmann, the Council approved all budget amendments. The net of these amendments had no affect on the total budget. Mayor Robert Willrich, Sr. is expected to provide a complete report on the upcoming budget in next week’s paper.

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