Danville school board to consider proposed tax levy

Danville school board to consider proposed tax levy

DANVILLE — Property owners could pay slightly higher taxes to the Danville school district under a proposed tax levy for 2013.

Administrators are recommending a proposal that would bring in a total of about $17.32 million in property tax revenue next year or about $15.30 million less bond and interest, which would be the same amount less bond and interest as last year.

"That would mean no new dollars to the district next year, but it would also mean there wouldn't be any loss in property tax revenue," Superintendent Mark Denman said late last week.

School board members will vote on whether to put a proposal on public display at their meeting on Wednesday.

The public will have more than a month to weigh in on the proposal. Board members will vote on whether to adopt it at their December meeting.

The Danville school board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville. A copy of the agenda is available online at http://bit.ly/1exscjY.

Property tax revenue makes up about 32 percent of the district's revenue.

The proposal was one of four options presented to the board at a special study session on the levy last week. Under that option, the tax rate would be about $5.31 per $100 of assessed valuation, up from about $5.06.

According to business and finance director Heather Smith, the owner of a $66,500 home — the average home value in the city — would pay about $858 to the district, a $39 increase over this year, if his or her home value stays the same.

Officials are anticipating a 3.6 percent decrease in the equalized assessed valuation of property in the district. If that occurs, its restricted funds — education, fire prevention/safety, operations building maintenance, transportation, working cash, special education and technology lease — would generate fewer dollars that they did this year.

While the proposed tax rate for each of the restricted funds would stay the same, the rates for the three non-restricted funds — Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Social Security and tort — would increase slightly.

"We're not going to be raising any additional dollars in our restricted funds, so it's important to levy (appropriately) for our non-restricted funds so we can pay for those costs instead of having to pay for them out of the education fund," board President Bill Dobbles said.

Also at the meeting, board members will vote on whether to apply for a $250,000 School Energy Efficiency Project grant from the state. The district would use the money to help pay for the first phase of a multi-year project to replace the existing windows at Danville High School with energy-efficient ones.

Replacing the window's on the building's west side has been estimated at roughly $628,000. The project is one of the required projects in the district's health/life safety plan.

In other business, the board will go into closed session for its second Targeting Achievement through Governance workshop, which is a requirement of the high school's School Improvement Grant. During the workshop, the board will conduct a self-evaluation.

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