Danville to begin talk on property taxes

Danville to begin talk on property taxes

DANVILLE — School board members on Thursday will launch a discussion on the district's proposed 2012 tax levy.

Business and finance director Heather McKiernan will present her recommendation to members at a special study session and can run other scenarios as well, if they're interested.

The Danville school board will hold a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville. A copy of the agenda is available online at http://bit.ly/S90AWR.

"This year, our goal is to lose as little money as possible for the district," said McKiernan, who pointed out that the district has experienced a decline in equalized assessed valuation for several years in a row and a loss of about $1.8 million in property tax revenue during that time.

Based on county officials' projections, she is projecting a 9 percent decrease in EAV next year, which could mean a $795,983 loss in property taxes compared with this year's.

"Unfortunately, it's very depressing," McKiernan said.

In 2010, she said, the EAV decreased by 2.22 percent, resulting in a $270,053 loss in property taxes from the previous year. In 2011, the EAV decreased by 4.14 percent, resulting in a $650,759 loss from the previous year.

Under last year's levy, the district hoped to generate about $19.14 million in property taxes this fiscal year with a tax rate that was about $5.03 per $100 of assessed valuation. However, the EAV decreased by 5.8 percent, and the district was able to bring in $18.32 million in property taxes.

"That was a loss of $917,678 from the previous year," McKiernan said. "We're anticipating another decrease next year, so that will just add to that. We can only sustain so much of a loss every year."

Property taxes, along with corporate replacement taxes, tuition and fees and other local revenue, makes up about 36 percent of the district's total revenue.

McKiernan said officials are discussing how much they will have to slash from the 2013-14 fiscal year budget in light of the decrease in property taxes and as well as state and federal funding.

Officials are projecting a $660,000 decrease in state aid. That doesn't include categorical funding, McKiernan added.

"We don't know what they're going to pay or not pay."

Earlier this year, the district cut about $535,000 in personal expenses, by eliminating more than a dozen teaching jobs and other positions through attrition, and another $100,000 in textbooks and supplies to help narrow its revenue and expenditure gap.

Board members won't take any formal action on the proposal this week, but will vote on whether to put it on display at the Nov. 14 board meeting. The levy must be adopted by the last Tuesday in December.