Property tax increase proposed for some Lexington homeowners to pay for street lights

Property tax increase proposed for some Lexington homeowners to pay for street lights
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Property taxes could be on the rise for over 100,000 Lexington home and business owners.

The proposed increase would help pay for street lights in the city.

For the past decade, the cost of Lexington’s street lights has exceeded its revenue by about $2 million a year. For those who live in districts where there are streetlights, you could expect to see a slight change in your property taxes.

“A lot of people don’t like tax increases, and it is a tax increase. And so I think that’s a lot of the problem. But we had the support of 11 council members,” said the Director of Budgeting for the City of Lexington, Melissa Lueker.

Tuesday night, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County council voted 11-4 to increase property taxes to fund city street lights.

Lexington’s director of budgeting Melissa Lueker says only about 20 percent of property tax bills go to the city...the rest goes to schools and the state.

In the past, the board has moved taxpayer money from a general fund to fund the street lights.

“Street lights have not raised enough revenue to cover the expenses needed to operate the street lights for the city. So we’ve been transferring over $2 million a year from the general fund budget over to the urban services fund budget in order to make the streetlight fund budget whole.”

Lueker says the average homeowner will not see a significant change. For those around the $235,000 home value average, the increase will be around $12.

“We’ve got a lot of expenses, and we bring in revenues, and this is one where the revenues that we’re bringing in for this expense aren’t covering the costs.”

We are told those included in this change will see a difference in their bills starting this fall.