For the second straight year the Covington City Council voted to lower the city’s millage rate.
The council unanimously voted to approve a rollback millage rate of 7.654 Monday night.
After three public hearings, the council was set to vote on a recommended millage rate that was identical to the previous budget year, but after a question posed by Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams during the work session sparked discussion, the six council members opted for the roll back rate.
The millage of 7.708 was brought in front of the council, which would have resulted in a budget of $4,408.88. That is an increase of taxes levied from the previous year, which had an identical millage rate but a lower property evaluation.
Covington City Manager Leigh Anne Knight said the 7.708 millage rate was recommended over the rollback rate for two reasons. The first was that the rollback rate would mean just a $31,000 difference in available revenue. The second was that if the millage would have to be increased again it wouldn’t be as big a shock to the public.
“It is basically a difference of 31,000 in what (revenue) is if you do it at a rollback rate or what we had set in 2014,” Knight told the council. “Taxes are still going to go up even if you take the rollback number because the value of a home went up.”
The council opted for the lower rate, with Keith Dalton making the motion and Chris Smith offering a second.
Last year, the council voted to reduce the millage rate to 7.708 from 8.208. The rate had been at or above 8 for a number of years prior to the 2014 decrease.