Perryville raises property taxes

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, October 14, 2021

Vote for 4% increases is unanimous

The Perryville City Council on Tuesday evening made the unanimous vote to approve a first reading of an ordinance to set property tax rates, increasing the tax rate on real property by 4% for the fiscal year.

This was following a public hearing the same night. Per a request from a member of the public during the hearing, Mayor Brian Caldwell and City Attorney Justin Johnson explained the reasoning behind the increase, as well as how much of an increase the new tax rate would be.

Caldwell said in the past few years, the city has typically either lowered the tax rate or adopted the compensating rate. He added that property tax revenue is the second-largest revenue generator for the city, just behind the insurance premium tax.

Johnson said the tax rate per $100 of real property was 27.3 cents, which brought in $78,864 of actual collections. The proposed rate for the current year, which the council completed the first reading of an ordinance for, is 28 cents per $100 of real property. With that rate, the city expects to collect $82,843 in revenue from real property. This is compared to the compensating rate of 26.7 cents per $100, with an expected revenue of $78,997.

For the reasoning of why to raise the rate, Johnson said, “The last couple years, yes, the city’s accepted the compensating rate and then they’ve also even lowered the rate, but my understanding is the city’s facing some pretty big expenditures coming up, and I think it’s imperative for the city to try to increase the revenue.”

Caldwell said city-wide, the increase in tax rates will mean an increase of about $4,000 in revenue.

“Breaking that down household to household, I get it — it’s not that much — but we do have expenses that we are going to have to pay for,” he said. “The new fire truck is $313,000.”

Per household, the average increase in real property tax will break down to about $7 to $13, he said.

For personal property, the city is adopting the compensating rate via the ordinance, of 37.87 cents per $100 of assessed value, the rate of 40 cents per $100 of assessed value on vehicles and watercraft, and $10 per $100 of assessed value on abandoned urban properties.