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Lexington Faces Financial Challanges Heading Into New Fiscal Year

The Fayette Urban County Government is preparing to enter into a new fiscal year this week.  Lexington council members are well aware of financial challenges made so much more intense through the coronavirus related shutdown of the local economy this spring.  Still, there was sufficient money in the rainy day fund to end this fiscal year in the black. 

Council Member Fred Brown said last week during a budget committee meeting that’s important to note. “We don’t want to mislead the public or anybody else, we’re in pretty good shape cash wise to be able to pay everything that we need to pay and get our books, as of June 30th 2020 we’ll be able to get out of this year financially,” said Brown.

Fellow Council Member Richard Moloney expressed significant concern about spending outdistancing revenues coming into urban county government. 

A question about taxation came up during last week’s Lexington council budget committee meeting.  Increases in property tax rates can be subject to a voter referendum.  Moloney asked city lawyer David Barberie if that is the case with the city’s payroll tax.  “There really is not a legal limit per se to that tax.  We would have challenges if we were a city or a county, but as a merged government, there’s really not a cap that’s in place to that particular tax,” responded Barberie.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay has suggested taxation in Lexington is something that should be opened up for public discussion.  Moloney, meanwhile, said he wanted to go on record saying he doesn’t favor a tax increase.  But, he said the city could face substantial financial challenges if coronavirus cases spike, causing another downturn in the economy.?

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