City of London to cut property taxes and one of the best places to retire in KY

It was a double dose of good news for London residents this week. First of all, property taxes will decrease again thanks to growth in the city. Secondly, London was chosen as one of the best places to retire in Kentucky in a national study.

At its regular monthly meeting on Monday night, London City Council voted unanimously to lower the tax rates on motor vehicle/motorcraft, real property and personal property from last year’s rate of .087 to .086.

It is the 15th consecutive year that city residents will see no increase in their taxes.

Don McFadden, with the Laurel County Property Valuation Administration (PVA) told council members that real property value had increased within the city, and that new construction was up considerably.

“Last year’s real estate was valued at $633 million. This year it is $659 million, with $13 million net in new construction,” he explained. “With that, you can lower the rates.”

Mayor Troy Rudder said the lowered tax rate would still keep the city’s revenues within the 4% range, with council members voting to accept the .086 rate. That means city residents will pay .086 cents for $100 value on real, personal and motor vehicles for the upcoming year.

“That’s not a lot, but it’s something. We’ve lowered or kept tax rates the same for the last 15 years,” the mayor said.

Council members then approved the first reading of the ordinance establishing those rates. The ordinance requires city residents to pay their taxes by Dec. 1, 2021. Those who pay before that time will receive a 2% discount. Those paying after Dec. 1 will add a 6% penalty to their totals.

According to an annual study by SmartAsset, London is the second-best place in Kentucky to retire, London ranked second on the list with a 16.5 percent tax burden, 7.7 doctor offices per 1,000 people, and 0.7 recreation centers per 1,000 people. About 17.6 percent of the population is made up of seniors, according to the seventh annual study of the best places to retire in the United States by SmartAsset.As part of the analysis, SmartAsset compared localities across four criteria, including tax burden, access to medical care, and opportunity for recreation and social activity.SmartAsset offers the web’s best personal finance advice, data visualizations and tools for free. It empowers people with the information needed to make life’s biggest financial decisions with confidence, the company says about itself on its website.

Pikeville was first on the list of the best places to retire in Kentucky, based on the analysis by SmartAsset.

Mayor Honored for Leading Kentucky League of Cities

It wasn’t the traditional banquet to honor the outgoing president, but a surprise luncheon Wednesday was the best alternative for the Kentucky League of Cities and London officials to recognize Mayor Troy Rudder for his year-long work leading the statewide group. 

The mayor was surprised when he learned that another routine luncheon at the London Community Center was actually to honor his work for the KLC, which represents 380 cities in Kentucky.

He volunteered to work on the group’s insurance committee about 15 years ago, then took on increasing responsibility and was elected president of the KLC for 2020-21. 

“It’s been a whirlwind ride the last year,” Rudder said during his impromptu speech at the luncheon. 

“Covid kind of cheated me a little as president. How many Zoom meetings did I attend last year? Felt like hundreds. But we still got a lot accomplished and had a productive legislative session.” 

Covid also canceled the KLC’s banquet in which the outgoing president is honored and the gavel is passed to the next president. Instead, the group prepared a video thanking Mayor Rudder and listed a number of his accomplishments in the last year. 

“You’ve been a guiding star for this organization during a very challenging time for all of us,” KLC Executive Director J.D. Chaney said in the video.

“You always say to leave it better than you found it. That’s the hallmark of public service. Not only have you done that for the City of London over the past 40 years as councilman and mayor, but you also did that for KLC. Your track record speaks for itself.” 

Mayor Rudder said he was proud to lead the group of influential city officials from across the state. 

“All those people put their trust in me,” he said.

“It blew me away when they acknowledged I had what it takes to lead that amazing organization.”  

COVID Testing Sites

From the Laurel County Health Department:

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 or been a close contact of someone who has tested positive?

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, please isolate yourself immediately. Do not wait on a call from the health department to isolate. It may be 24-48 hours after you receive your positive test result before you are contacted by our office. It is also important to make sure the testing location you had your test performed at has your correct phone number. Isolation Information for COVID-19 Positive Cases: https://laurelcohealthdept.org/…/Case-One-Pager-11-16…

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

Due to the increase in cases in our county, you may not be contacted by our office if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We are asking the positive case to contact anyone they have had close contact with during their incubation period to let them know they need to quarantine. *There are certain instances in which we are still calling close contacts, but in many instances, we will not be calling them.

*If you are FULLY VACCINATED and have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case: https://chfs.ky.gov/…/QuarantineofVaccinatedPersonsGuid…

If you are NOT FULLY VACCINATED and have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case: https://laurelcohealthdept.org/…/New-CDC-Quarantine…

Yandell Recognized for Service to the City

The late Bruce Yandell served London with distinction and dedication in several capacities beginning in 1991 when he was elected to the London City Council. In 1994, Yandell was appointed to the London-Laurel Joint Planning Commission and the London Board of Zoning Adjustment in 2001. He served as chairman of the planning and zoning adjustment for many years. These appointments involved technical, thankless tasks that Yandell undertook with enthusiasm and professionalism.

According to his wife, Judy, they sometimes had to postpone or cancel vacations because Yandell had a planning or zoning meeting “that may wind up lasting only 10 minutes. He loved the city and its residents.”

On Monday night, the London City Council, as well as representatives from the planning and zoning commission and the board of adjustment, approved a declaration honoring Yandell for his years of service to the city.

“Bruce Yandell was an example of London’s exemplary, dedicated and honorable elected and appointed public officials serving the residents of London,” the declaration says.

In the photo, Mayor Troy Rudder presents a framed copy of the declaration to Judy Yandell. At left is Shirell Hall with the board of adjustments, and at right is Berry Cupp with the planning and zoning commission.

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