Danville school levy open to taxpayer comment

Danville school levy open to taxpayer comment

DANVILLE — School district taxpayers still have another 30 days or so to weigh in on a proposed tax levy for 2013.

School board members on Friday voted 3-1 with three members absent to put on public display a proposal that administrators are calling the best out of four possible options for both taxpayers and the district.

Board President Bill Dobbles pointed out that while members put Option 2 on display — first at their regular Oct. 23 meeting, and then at Friday's special meeting to clear up any confusion about what was done in October — they have yet to reach a consensus on which one should be adopted.

"Any of the others could be chosen," Dobbles said, adding an adoption vote is scheduled to take place on Dec. 11.

Property tax revenue makes up about 32 percent of the district's revenue. Officials are projecting a 3.6 percent decrease in property values in the district, although the actual amount won't be known until next spring.

Under Option 2, the district 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.

Officials said while the district wouldn't bring in any more money than it did this year, there would be no revenue loss either.

The tax rate would be about $5.31 per $100 of assessed valuation, up from about $5.06. That means 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 the home's value stays the same.

The proposal was one of four options presented to the board in October.

Under Option 1, the district would generate about $17.55 million in revenue — the amount it needs. That's a $229,000 increase over this year's amount.

The tax rate would be about $5.38 per $100 of assessed valuation. Officials said the owner of a $66,500 home would see an increase of about $50, if the home's value stays the same.

Under Option 3, the district would levy the same amount as last year, meaning it would generate about $16.93 million or $397,000 less than this year.

Officials said the owner of a $66,500 home would see a $19 increase, if the home's value stays the same.

Option 4 would keep the same tax rate of $5.06 per $100 of assessed valuation. However, administrators said that would do the district the most harm by bringing in only $16.53 million, a $789,000 decrease from this year.

On Friday, board member Randal Ashton, who voted against putting Option 2 on display, said he still hasn't made up his mind which option is best for the district. However, he said he believes it should start out with the one that would generate the most revenue and do the most good for the district "and negotiate down."

Board members Frank Young and Steve Bragorgos — who, along with Gina McGuire, weren't at Friday's special meeting — have said they won't support an option that will create a larger burden on taxpayers.

Also at the meeting, board members approved purchasing a 4-acre piece of property at 619 N. Jackson St. for $145,000. Superintendent Mark Denman said the price is $10,000 below the property appraisal.

The property, the former Risser Electric site, is directly south of Danville High School. Denman said it will provide space for future campus development, growth and flexibility.

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