Kenton County PDS cuts tax rate to lowest in two decades, cuts budget by $ 1 million


Through efficiency gains and a successful reorganization, Kenton County Planning and Development Services (PDS) lowered its county-wide property tax rate to the lowest level in nearly 20 years while reducing by nearly 20% of its annual budget.

PDS’s management board approved reducing the property tax rate from 0.0268 to 0.0225 per $ 100 of assessment for fiscal year 2021-2022, the lowest tax rate the agency had since 2004-05.

Sharmili Reddy

PDS leaders say an agency-wide reorganization that included hiring a new executive director, cutting 10 positions and implementing an efficiency plan resulted in not only a reduction in the tax rate, but also an estimated $ 1 million reduction in the annual PDS from the $ 5.3 million budget.

“We are in the process of reorganizing an agency that provides valuable and essential services to Kenton County,” said Independence Mayor Chris Reinersman, vice chairman of the PDS board. “Our main goal was to create a more efficient and fair organization for all Kenton County taxpayers, while maintaining a high level of service. I see the $ 1 million budget cut and the resulting lower tax rate as the culmination of these efforts.

PDS board chairman Joe Nienaber, a Kenton County commissioner, praised PDS staff for executing the reorganization plan.

“The staff have been absolutely wonderful during all the changes, which are obviously paying off,” said Commissioner Nienaber. “And the best part is that even with the changes and downsizing, we haven’t lost anything.”

In addition to Mayor Reinersman and Commissioner Nienaber, the members of the PDS board are:

• Covington Town Commissioner Michelle Williams
• Mayor of Crestview Hills, Paul Meier
• Fort Mitchell City Councilor Greg Pohlgeers
• Erlanger city councilor Gary Meyer
• Fort Wright City Councilor Bernie Wessels

Mayor Reinersman also praised the hiring of Sharmili Reddy as executive director of PDS. Reddy was previously the administrator of the city of Fort Mitchell, but had also worked at PDS before joining the city.

“One of the best decisions we made was to select Sharmili Reddy to lead the PDS,” he said. “Not only does she have a solid background in planning, but she is also an experienced and efficient administrator. In addition, Sharmili has a long history of demonstrating an incredible ability to work with divergent parties to resolve issues to everyone’s satisfaction.

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