Richland homeowners could get a bit of savings on their property taxes thanks to low interest rates.
The city council at its Tuesday meeting approved a refinancing of voter-approved bonds used on construction of the police station and community center in the 1990s, as well as library renovations in 2006.
Residents have been paying 36.16 cents per $1,000 property tax valuation on the financing of the three projects, but that will drop to an estimated 33.71 cents.
The change means that the owner of a $100,000 home will save about $2.50 a year, said Cathleen Koch, administrative services director.
“We can pass the savings on to the property taxpayers,” she said.
The refinancing will not impact when the bonds are paid off, Koch said. The police station and community center payments are still on track to be complete in 2019, while the library will be paid for in 2026.
Council members praised the change.
“It’s very refreshing to hear that we have an opportunity to lower some costs for everybody that lives in Richland,” Councilwoman Sandra Kent said.
The $3.3 million police station bond was approved by Richland voters in 1998. It allowed the city to build an 18,900-square-foot facility, about double what it had at the time.
The community center bond was approved by voters in 1999 after repeated failures on the ballot. The 21,335-square-foot building cost $3.9 million.
Voters approved the $17.25 million library renovation in 2006. It added 25,500 square feet to an aging building.
Also Tuesday, the council:
• Approved a change that will allow the city to have parking time limits of less than 24 hours in lots at the Columbia Playfields and the Parkway.
• Approved an appeal process for people who are cited for trespassing on city property. Appeals will be heard by the Code Enforcement Board.
• Appointed Jerry Beach to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.