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Junction City reduces property taxes

The Junction City real estate property tax rate is being reduced for the second year in a row.

The council approved the rate of 1.09 cents per $100 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, down from 1.22 cents last year.

That means property taxes on a home assessed for $100,000 will be $1,090 this year, which is $130 less in taxes paid on the same property this past fiscal year.

During the regular meeting Thursday evening, Mayor Jim Douglas said the rate was “going down a little bit.” Douglas said the city is receiving more revenue from expanding residential development this year, and if they had voted to increase taxes, “We’d be looking for a way to waste the taxpayers’ money.” He added, “They (property owners) don’t have to pay more than they should.”

Tangible property taxes on vehicles, aircraft and watercraft were set at the same rate of 1.09 cents per $100 assessed value.

The taxes are levied for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021, and will go to the city’s general fund. Second reading and passage of the tax rate will be at a special called meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved Chief of Police Russell Preston’s request to participate in a $1,700 computer program which helps crime investigators track down stolen property that has been taken to pawn shops. He said he recently used a free trial of the program and located three stolen handguns in Mt. Sterling.
  • Heard Preston report that he had received a request for the police department to furnish a resource officer at Junction City Elementary School, once the building is open for in-person teaching. The hours they want an officer are between 7 and 8 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. daily. Preston said, however, with only three officers on duty with different schedules, “It will be almost impossible to provide.”
  • Discussed the annual citywide Trunk-or-Treat, normally held around Halloween. “We’ll leave it in limbo,” for now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Douglas said.
  • Learned that concrete for the new city hall may be poured this week.