The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property taxes for fiscal year 2020. A property tax levy public hearing was held prior to the introduction of the ordinance. The City’s real estate tax levy is proposed to be set at 26.7 cents per $100 assessed value, a 2.3 percent change as compared to the fiscal year 2019 rate of 26.1 cents. The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as this fiscal year, is 25.7 cents per $100 assessed value. Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) permits a city to adjust the rate upward by not more than 4 percent of the compensating rate. With the proposed 26.7 cents, the City would be taking the 4 percent allowed by KRS.
The proposed rate of 26.7 cents is much less than what the rate was more than twenty years ago in fiscal year 1995. At that time the real estate rate was 43.8 cents per $100 assessed value. The revenue generated by the property tax is the City’s second highest revenue source behind the payroll tax.
Please note that the Paducah Board of Education is holding a hearing at 5:30 p.m. on September 16 regarding its tax levy. The City collects the school tax but passes the funds along to the district. The current tax levy for the school district is 84.0 cents per $100 of assessed value. The school district is proposing to set its tax levy at 86.4 cents.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance (by a 4 to 1 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham voting no) amending Section 2-145 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances regarding the procedures for City Commission meetings. To facilitate the decision-making related to City business, this ordinance amends the process for the general public to speak at a meeting. The amendments allow the public to be heard regarding business items on that meeting’s agenda including resolutions, consent agenda items, and ordinances.
Commissioner Abraham said, “Why are we changing it? The reason is that people are coming to the mic and saying things that are making us uncomfortable. For me, that’s not a good enough reason for us to change how we do public comments.”
Commissioner Gerald Watkins said, “By limiting public comments to the agenda items, we are not restricting anyone's First Amendment right to free expression. This is fair, reasonable, and the government has a compelling interest in doing so. I do support the public's ability to address the City Commission, but the comments should be directly related to an item on the agenda only.”
If a member of the public would like to discuss a topic that is not on the meeting agenda, there are several ways to connect with the City including email, online forms, social media, telephone, and face-to-face meetings.
Assistant City Manager Michelle Smolen and Information Technology Director Stephen Chino provided the Paducah Board of Commissioners a progress update for the Enterprise Resource Planning software project. This project also is called the Munis project to reflect the name of the software through the vendor, Tyler Technologies. This multi-phase and multi-year software transition project kicked off in 2016. So far, the City has integrated two full phases of the project, Financials (includes budgeting and purchasing) and Revenue, with the property tax phase to be launched next year. Smolen said, “It’s a major organizational initiative.” One of the next phases is the launch of Tyler 311 which will be a non-emergency service request online portal and app.
Smolen added the City is exploring is the use of a Tyler product called EnerGov. EnerGov uses a GIS platform to automate, streamline, and connect permitting, inspection, and code enforcement processes. Smolen says an amended contract with Tyler Technologies to remove some unused elements and add the EnerGov system will be brought before the Board at an upcoming meeting for consideration.