At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Brandi Harless welcomed the various delegates in the audience who are attending the UNESCO Creative Cities of Crafts & Folk Art meeting in Paducah.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property taxes for fiscal year 2018. A property tax levy public hearing was held at the beginning of the September 12 Commission meeting. The City’s real estate tax levy will remain at 25.5 cents per $100 assessed value. The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as this fiscal year, is 24.6 cents per $100 assessed value. Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) permits a city to adjust the rate upward by not more than 4 percent of the compensating rate. With the 25.5 cents, the City is taking an amount less than the 4 percent allowed by KRS. The rate of 25.5 cents is much less than what the rate was more than twenty years ago in fiscal year 1995. At that time the real estate rate was 43.8 cents per $100 assessed value. The revenue generated by the property tax is the City’s second highest revenue source behind the payroll tax. Recently, the Paducah Independent School District voted to set its tax rate at 79.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The City collects the school tax, but passes the funds along to the district.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance amending the alcohol and beverage ordinance contained in Chapter 6 of the City’s Code of Ordinances. Many of the amendments are necessary to comply with the passage of House Bills 100, 183, and 319 during the 2017 Kentucky legislative session. One noteworthy local amendment permits the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays for all license types during the same hours such sales are permitted any other day of the week. The amendments were approved by a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Allan Rhodes voting no.
Prior to the vote, two local package liquor store owners addressed the City Commission. They are not in favor of the amendment to expand alcohol sales on Sunday. They say that being open seven days a week would not be economically viable for them due to the increase in personnel and other costs. Plus, they think that their alcohol sales would not increase. Instead, sales would be spread over seven days rather than six days. Commissioner Rhodes made a motion to amend the ordinance not to allow the sale of distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages on Sundays. The motion was not approved. Commissioner Sarah Stewart Holland said the ordinance that was approved does not require the stores to be open on Sunday and that the goals are consistency in the ordinance and the streamlining of regulations. She stated that exceptions are hard to explain. Commissioner Richard Abraham said, “We live in a society where if you want to compete, you are allowed to compete. But if you don’t want to, it’s ok.”
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for the intent to annex property located at 2909 Lone Oak Road and 2835 Maryland Street. S&R Investments, LLC has asked the City to annex the properties. These properties which are owned by Tri-State Construction Company are south of Banks Market. The owner plans to construct a retail strip center. Earlier this year, the neighboring properties at 2901 and 2905 Lone Oak Road and 2825 Maryland Street were annexed.