The Prestonsburg City Council is considering a slight increase in property tax rates and a decrease in tangible personal property taxes this year.

During a meeting on Monday, the city council held the first reading of an ordinance that would increase property tax rates from 23.1 cents per $100 of assessed value to 24.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The ordinance also proposed a decrease, however, for tangible personal property and franchises in the city, from 38.76 cents per $100 of assessed value to 36.58 cents per $100 of assessed value.

A city official reported that the property tax increase is needed in order for Prestonsburg to obtain the same amount of revenue as it received during the last tax year. That official said the city’s taxable assessment dropped by more than $2 million since last year.

The ordinance states that taxes will be due on Dec. 31, and property owners will receive a 2 percent discount if the bills are paid by Nov. 30, and penalties of 6 percent if they’re paid after Dec. 31 and 25 percent if they’re paid after Jan. 31. The ordinance also states that taxpayers who don’t pay their bills prior to Dec. 31 will also pay 12 percent interest.

The new rates won’t become effective unless they are approved during a second reading of this ordinance.

During the meeting, the council approved a $93,340 bid from Central Kentucky Fiber Resources of Lexington for the purchase of a cardboard baler for the city’s recycling program, and $73,433 bid to MagneGrip of Ohio for the installation of an exhaust system for Station 1 and Station 2 a the fire department. These projects are grant-funded, officials said.

In other news, the council also:

•Approved payment of $54,500 in bills.

•Approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Les Stapleton to sign a deed for about two-tenths of an acres of property to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, selling it at $500. Stapleton said the property is located on Abbott Creek, where the city planned to build a fire department station, and the Cabinet will use the property to construct a bridge.

•Approved selling a Segway and 1986 tractor as surplus, with officials reporting they will seek bids on,

•Discussed what Stapleton said was “pretty definite litigation” in closed session, returning in open session to set trick-or-treat on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the Christmas parade at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7.

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