The New Albany Board of Aldermen voted to raise property tax by four mills, with the additional revenue earmarked for repairs and improvements to city streets. It was a split vote with three aldermen voting for the increase and two against.
Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee made the motion to increase ad valorem taxes by four mills, and the motion was seconded by Third Ward Alderman, Kevin Dale White. First Ward Alderwoman, Amy Livingston, voted with Conlee and White to approve the tax increase. Second Ward Alderman, Johnny Anderson, and Fourth Ward Alderman, Will Tucker, voted against the four mill increase.
One mill in tax levy at New Albany’s aggregate property tax valuation will yield about $60,000 annually in tax revenue. Thus the four mill increase should produce about a quarter-million dollars ($240,000+/-) in property tax revenue each year.
At today’s prices for hot asphalt mix and labor, it costs about $125,000 per mile to overlay 1.5-inches of asphalt on an existing street. At current asphalt prices, the city should be able to overlay nearly two miles of city streets every year.
Owners of New Albany real estate with a tax-appraisal value of $100,000 would pay $40 per year in additional property taxes under the new levy.
The decision was made some time after 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, Aug. 7. The city board held its regular monthly meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. that date. There was a brief discussion during the regular board meeting of possibly increasing property taxes by two mills, with the increased revenue being applied to street repairs. However, no motions or votes regarding the tax rate took place during the regular meeting.
The regular meeting was nearly three hours long, about twice its usual length, and ended when the aldermen went into an “executive session.” News reporters and other members of the public are not allowed to remain in the meeting room during executive sessions.
The board apparently remained in executive session for about half-an-hour, during which City Attorney Regan Russell discussed litigation that might possibly involve the city.
When the board returned to open session, Alderwoman Livingston is said to have again brought up the matter of a millage-rate increase for street improvements. Sources say that Aldermen Anderson and Tucker indicated they might support a two mill increase, but not four mills. Then the vote proceeded as described above.
The four mill property tax increase is expected to first appear on tax invoices that fall due February 1, 2020.