Independence keeps tax rates the same amid rising property values

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UPDATE: We have added the projected revenues for Independence and additional contextual information related to compensating rates following reader inquiries. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.–LINK nky Editorial, Sept. 21, 2023

The Independence City Council unanimously passed their property tax rates at a special meeting Monday night. The new rates are identical to the previous year’s rates:

  • Real property rate: $0.22/$100 of property valuation
  • Personal property rate: $0.534/$100 of property valuation

“I will reiterate,” Mayor Chris Reinersman said, “that this is keeping the tax rate the same, which is what we have done for the last several years other than two of those years where we actually reduced our rate.”

The rate is officially less than compensating, although the city still anticipates increased tax revenues over the next year.

Compensating rate calculations do not include new property additions. Both Reinersman and Council Member Carol Franzen advised the public that their tax bills may go up, even though the rate has stayed the same.

“That is an excellent point,” Reinersman said. “State law requires that property is assessed at market value. Anybody who has looked for a house or sold a house in the last few years know market value has gone through the roof.”

Property values around the country have seen a precipitous rise in the past two years. The East South Central census division of the United States, where Kentucky is located, saw housing prices increase 18.8% from May of 2021 to May of 2022, according to a July report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. From May of 2022 to May of 2023, prices rose 4.4%.

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Moreover, Independence has seen the addition of numerous new properties over the last fiscal year, according to Reinersman. Thus, even though the rate is officially less than compensating, revenues for the city are expected to increase. The projected tax revenue for Independence is below:

Budgeted FY2022-2023Actual FY2022-2023Budgeted FY2023-2024
Property Taxes$        4,450,152$        4,439,237$        4,539,496
Tangible Taxes$            687,720$            627,572$           687,720
Data and table provided | The City of Independence

Independence residents who wish to see the current value assessments for their homes or see their most recent tax bills can do by searching for their property at the Kenton County PVA Office’s website.

The next meeting of the Independence City Council will take place on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Independence City Building on Madison Pike.

Need a refresher on tax terminology and procedures? Read our tax explainer.

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