This story originally appeared in the Aug. 4 edition of the Weekly LINK Reader.
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Erlanger City Council member Tyson Hermes stood at a December 2022 Kenton County Fiscal Court meeting.
Addressing Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann, county commissioners and staff sitting behind desks surrounding the platform where he stood, Hermes, who is also a businessman, thanked the group for his opportunity to speak.
“The reason I wanted to address the court was just to express my distaste for the process and the timing of the tax rate increase that’s recently been announced,” he said at the Dec. 13 meeting.
That increase had received a second reading at a meeting earlier that year, on Election Day.
The court cast a vote to approve an increase on both employee payroll and business net profits throughout Kenton County on that Nov. 8 evening, but it wasn’t until Hermes’ comments more than a month later that rumblings of a backlash against the increases themselves came into play – along with the manner in which the county went about passing them.
“First, the vote taking place on Election Day, especially when in Erlanger we were wasting two or three hours in lines to vote,” Hermes said at the December meeting about long wait times throughout the county during the general election. “A lot of people wouldn’t have had time to be paying attention or to be showing up to voice their displeasure with that.”
Hermes questioned whether the county had acted opportunistically in passing the increases so close to an election, such that the voters might forget when it came time for re-election. He also questioned whether the move would, in fact, uphold the fiscal court’s responsibilities to effectively manage the county’s financial health.
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