Why some Lexington property owners will get second tax bill
A tax for more than 100,000 Fayette County property owners to pay for street lights will go up.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted in August to increase the property tax that pays for street lights. Because that increase was more than 4%, homeowners who paid the tax had the opportunity to file a petition to recall the tax. State law allows for recall petitions if the tax increase is more than 4%.
Fayette County Clerk Susan Lamb said as of Friday, the deadline for a challenge, no petition had been filed.
That means the more than 100,000 homeowners who pay a street light tax will get a second property tax bill for the increase, city officials have said.
Property tax bills were sent in September before the deadline for the recall petition.
The second, much smaller, bill will likely be sent by Dec. 1, according to officials with Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Whitt’s office. Whitt’s office is responsible for sending property tax bills and collecting property taxes.
The council voted in August to up the property tax for street lights to make up for a $2 million shortfall in that fund. The city has had to use money from the general fund to shore up the street fund account for more than a decade.
For an average home with an assessed value of $235,000, the tax will go from $47 to $63.45, or a roughly 35% increase. Other city services such as street cleaning and garbage pick up will remain the same.
Not all property owners pay for street lights. Only homeowners and business owners in certain taxing districts will see their portion of Fayette County property tax bills go up.
According to city records, the increase will effect 100,230 parcels or property owners. The city last increased street light taxes in 2019. That average increase was less than 50 cents.