Lexington Parks Advisory Board discuss potential future parks tax

LEXINGTON, Ky. ( ABC 36 ) -Rebecca Dietterick has lived in Lexington for 20 years.

She says she consistently visits the Pleasant Ridge dog park with her golden retriever.
“We utilize it a lot, especially with a dog, with the dog park here and with the trails they’ve built…it’s been real good” said Dietterick.

Last week, the Lexington Parks Advisory Board discussed a property tax ballot initiative that would mean you might have to pay a parks tax.

“As long as it goes towards the parks and everything and everything’s kept up and giving the people what they want then I think it would be great” said Dietterick.

Attorney, Megan Griffith said in the meeting the tax would be a property tax, and the funds would be used specifically for the public parks.

“These funds would be specifically used for the purchase or maintenance of public parks. You can’t take them and use them for pavement or street lights or anything” said Griffith.

The goal is to get more capital funding for parks.

Board member, David Lowe went over the budget for the Parks and Recreation Department saying the tax would improve the ability to service the facilities.

“We estimated that a five cent per 100 dollars of assessed property value would raise approximately 15.6 million” said Lowe.

But, board members haven’t said yet specifically how much money you’d have to pay.
Some members are in favor of moving forward with the initiative.

“This tax actually benefits a larger percentage of the population the voting people in this city than the past Lex train or anything else we’ve put on a ballot” said Gabe Knowles.

And some are not.

“Asking people if they have an appetite for a new tax is like asking people if they want a shot. I don’t see a scenario where people overwhelming respond towards yes we want this” said Roscoe Klausing.

As of now there is no timeline for the initiative.

Many in the meeting agreed that more community input and discussion is needed to figure out the logistics of the potential tax.

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